Strong numbers for Peanut Fest 5KPublished 9:59pm Saturday, October 5, 2013
Saturday’s Peanut Fest 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Walk was the most popular such event in a long time, organizers reported, with 827 pre-registrations.
The runners and walkers gathered at Constant’s Wharf on a pristine October morning, setting off with the sounding of an air horn at 7:30 a.m.
“It’s a very good turnout — we’re excited,” said Robbie Laughton, executive director of event sponsor Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community.
“It was a record number of pre-registrations — double what we’ve had in the past. We hope that’s attributed to the fact that we are getting the word out that it’s important to be physically active.”
Event participants included toddlers in strollers and individuals of a more mature age.
James Whitley, 64, said he was simply “trying to keep myself in shape.”
“I’m getting ready to have a knee replacement and trying to keep my muscles strong,” he said. “I also like to support a great event.”
Whitley said he has played a lot of different sports through his life, but now “golfing is my main thing.”
Elton Matthews, 59, was walking with his grandson. “I’m trying to get some exercise for myself and also teaching my grandson about the benefits of exercise,” Matthews said.
Ross Boone, a member of the partnership’s board, said the event “is a wonderful opportunity for the citizens of Suffolk and the surrounding communities to come out on a nice fall morning to do something that’s good for them, and hopefully encourage others.”
The good thing about walking and running is it doesn’t require expensive equipment, he said, and “it’s going to help your physical wellbeing and outlook on life, period.”
Done in partnership with Suffolk Parks and Recreation, the event also included information booths, including from the Alzheimer’s Association, Rite Aid, Hands-On Massage and Eternawell.
Laughton said Saturday’s numbers represented “phenomenal growth” after the last 5K in June, which attracted 550 pre-registrations.
“What we have advertised this as is a free, non-competitive event,” he said. “It’s not a race — we are not timing people, so we encourage people of all ages and all abilities.
“We have had a couple of 1-year-olds out in strollers with their parents, we have had grandparents.”
The event also included door prize drawings and a free gift at check-in.