Running with purpose

Participants in the City-to-City 5k and One Mile Fun Walk

On your mark, get set, go! The runners were ready, the onlookers were excited, and the race was on. The Polk Training Center held its annual City-to-City 5K race and One Mile Fun Walk on Saturday, February 18. With check-in and registration starting at 7:15 a.m., everyone was up with the roosters to support an organization that provides day training programs and employment to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Sherrie Holbrook, executive director of Polk Training Center says, “Our students and the community look forward to our 5K Race / 1 Mile Walk.  Our volunteers work hard to pull off a fun and entertaining event while succeeding to improve it every year.”

The race took place between the picturesque Water Ridge Community stretching peacefully between Lake Alfred and Winter Haven.  Water stations were set up at the midpoint and finish line. Pre-registered participants each received shirts.

“I used to be on the volunteer side of large fundraising events.  Now I am the director on the other side watching in amazement and great appreciation as the volunteers in the community pitch in to help us,” Holbrook observes.

The winners in the overall category for the men were Rod Crowley, Michael Martinet, and Ken Steckert; and the overall winners for the women were Julie Sands, Sara Butler, and Brandi Ray.

The winners in the male category, ages 1-10, were first place Will Jarrett and second place Mark Jarrett. For the girls in the same category, winners were Ashlyn Viles in first place and Brooke Viles coming in second.

In the 13-14 male category, the winner was John Portlock, while in the 11-12 female category, the winner was Candace Rhoda. For ages 17-18 in the male category, first place winner was Frank Portlock and in the same category for women, Mabry Cradock secured first place.

In the adult men’s category for ages 19-25, Blaise Dillman came in first with Aaron Williams coming in second, and Daniel Brown placing third. In the women’s category ages 19-25, winners were Courtney Wheary placing first, Sarah House placing second and Amy Dillman coming in third place.

Winners 26-30 years old in the men’s category were P. Jay Butler (first), Jeff Tillman (second), and Kevin Ray (third).

“This year we had more participants than we have ever had. It was a great success,” says Holbrook. All proceeds from the race go to support the Polk Training Center for Handicapped Citizens, Inc.


story by DALE BLISS

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