People Were Running For The Trees In Raleigh
By Mary Williamson, The Raleigh Chronicle
Thursday, March 22, 2007
RALEIGH - This past Saturday, Raleigh hosted its 25th annual Run for the Oaks, a 5K road race whose proceeds benefit oak tree planting and maintenance in the Raleigh area.
The event, which preceded Raleigh's Saint Patrick's Day Parade, was sponsored by Raleigh Parks and Recreation, Trader Joe's, The Athlete's Foot, Kiss 93.9, and Progress Energy. It began at 9:30 am in Moore Square of downtown. There was also a children's run, which began later.
People of all ages came out to participate in the fun and beneficial race. New and old runners alike cited the good cause as being the reason they enjoy the run so much.
Nicole Griffin, a Cary resident and 5K participant, said her favorite part of the race is that all of the money goes to a good cause.
"Everyone seemed so excited to be there and to be running for such a good cause," she said.
Runners ran through a historic part of downtown Raleigh, covering parts of Wilmington, Hargett, and Blount Streets, and viewing historic homes and the capitol building.
Griffin also said she enjoyed seeing the houses on foot because it gave her a perspective she doesn't get while driving.
"It was neat to run by the historical houses because when you are driving by you don't have a chance to look at them well," Griffin added.
The course, known as Raleigh's fastest 5K course, is relatively hill-free. There was a water station at the midpoint of the course. If you have never seen this before, it is quite a site. Volunteers hand off water to runners who gulp it down and then throw the cups on the ground, reminiscent of pit-stops during car races.
Sarah Huffman, Raleigh resident and Run-for-the-Oaks runner, said this race is a lot quicker than other area 5Ks.
"It's fast and flat," she said.
All in all, everyone had fun and enjoyed helping out Raleigh Parks and Recreation.
Jason Jabaut of Carrboro won the race. He finished in 14 minutes 52 seconds, with a pace of a 4 minute 47 second mile. Devin Swann of Raleigh and Alex L'Heureux of Cary came in 2nd and 3rd places.
During and after the race, Raleigh Parks and Recreation gave away trees for people to plant in their yards.
The money goes to help plant and maintain trees in Raleigh, a practice that is helping to replace trees lost to hurricanes in recent years. ::