Thanksgiving 5K in Hamilton sees record participation

The third annual Hamilton Thanksgiving 5K for Young Lives continues to grow each year. This year, the race had 537 registrants. CONTRIBUTED
The third annual Hamilton Thanksgiving 5K for Young Lives continues to grow each year. This year, the race had 537 registrants. CONTRIBUTED

The third annual Young Lives Thanksgiving Run, which raises money for teenage mothers to attend a special summer camp, enjoyed one of its largest crowd of participants this year and organizers are confident the event will be successful for many years to come.

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Katie Powers, coordinator of the race, said organizers were hoping to have at least 500 people in this year’s race, which would have eclipsed last year’s total of 300.

“This year we had 537 participants and raised over $8,500 for the Young Lives ministry for local teen moms,” Powers said. “We are so thankful for everyone who participated, helped out, and sponsored this event. We had a blast kicking off Thanksgiving with everyone and look forward to next year.”

She added that a few new elements were made to this year’s Thanksgiving 5K, including the chip-timed course, finishers’ medals, and a special top finishers prize for the first place male and female 5K runners.

Sam Patrick, a Hamilton resident and the top finisher in the 60 and older age division, was happy with this year’s event.

“This was a well organized 5K event. Great course,” he said. “I’ve been running for 36 years and this race rates among the very best.”

Dr. Laura Arnold of Hamilton said she enjoyed being part of the race that helps teen mothers.

“The best part was starting the holiday surrounded by a community with a heart for giving back and loving on these young mothers,” she said. “We signed up thinking we would be burning some calories before a big meal and create traditions for our own family. Once we were there and we saw the women the event was impacting and the hard work and emotion that was poured into this, we realized this was so much more.”

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Arnold participated in the race last year and said she was happy to see some of the changes in the course this year as well as more people participating.

Sarah and Rob Menke were glad to be a part of an event that was for a good cause and allowed them to see interesting parts of the city.

“We wanted to do a 5K that was close to home and we believe in the organization that sponsored the race. I saw parts of Hamilton that I have never seen. I loved all the vendors from Hamilton,” Sarah said.

Rob added, “we have done a Thanksgiving race in downtown Cincinnati before, so it was great having a race much closer to home. This was a very organized race. I enjoyed the atmosphere and will do this race again next year.”

Last year, funds raised by the 5K were used to send 18 teen moms, their children and mentors to a summer camp in Michigan, according to Powers.

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