The Warrior Way 5k took place at and around NC on Saturday, September 15. Attracting faculty, students, relatives, and community members, the event brought together fans of running, speed-walking, and leisurely strolling.
“We do the 5k as a fundraiser for the Cross Country team, but it’s more than that now. At our 11th year in, it’s a community event and I look forward to seeing friends come and run it over and over again, and seeing the little kids come out to run the 1k, they have a lot of fun. It’s a really fun community event, and it’s also really good for our [XC] team,” Head XC Coach John Huff said.
The race started at the Blue Springs Road stoplight, veered left onto Nowlin Road, entered onto NC trails behind Awtrey Middle School, exited back onto Nowlin, and finished on the NC track. Water and snacks from a variety of sponsors awaited breathless and perspiring runners at the finish line.
XC members advertised the 5k to their families, friends, teachers, and community members. These “sponsors” or participants paid $20-$25 and received customized t-shirts at the event. Organizers also allowed for virtual sponsors to pay and receive a shirt through the mail.
With muggy weather and grey, overcast skies, the race began in mid 70s temperatures at 7:30 a.m. Luckily, the sun soon broke through the clouds and brought it up to a high in the 80s around 9 a.m. Runners felt the full force of the infamous Georgia humidity, but continued to power through.
“It was cool to be able to run with the community and all of my fellow peers and teachers, even though it was extremely hot— there were a lot of hills,” junior and XC runner Tayne Dasher said.
The first place runner, Kennesaw local, Thomas Clarke, came in at 17:57. Mitch Novy followed a little under a minute later at 18:44, and Troy Hayden placed third, at 20:16. These runners breezed through the 3.1 mile course, passing the finish line with nothing more than slight shortness of breath.
Little ones unable to book it for 5 kilometers, not to be left out, participated in the 1k Fun Run. Kids eleven years old and under, accompanied by the NC XC team, completed two laps around the track. NC awarded the winners and gave every junior runner a participation ribbon.
“The 1k is a fun time because it’s great for the kids. They enjoy running with the high school students, and getting lit with them is so much fun,” senior and XC runner John Koroly said.
The annual event provides a fun way for participants to get exercise, spend time with friends and family, and support NC’s XC team.