The club’s Reindeer Run on Dec. 8 had 244 participants between the 5k race and 1-mile fun run.
“I thought it was amazing and I was really surprised to see that many people out there that day,” said Ajaye Brown, race coordinator and LaFayette Optimist treasurer. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback already.”
Several runners have emailed Brown excited that they achieved their personal record for a 5k, despite a few gradual climbs on the course.
Jonathan Peace of Fort Payne, Ala., posted the best time at 18:40 and the top female, 38-year-old Kendra Stallings, finished at 22:27.
Wearing bib number 1 and placing first in the over-60 age category was Lynnda Owens with a 29:16, while 9-year-old Garrison Dendy posted a 22:39, just 12 seconds behind the top female runner.
Brown attributes that success to the energetic spirit teams that provided fluids, support and even a few candy canes as distributed by LaFayette Middle School cheerleaders while runners passed the LaFayette Recreation Center.
The exuberant young ladies were voted the favorite spirit team among several groups that raised racers’ spirits.
The event cleared $4,066 toward the club’s civic programs in upcoming months.
The top priority for the event was to provide funds for the Shop with a Cop/ Firefighter program, which pairs less fortunate children from LaFayette with a caring first-responder.
The remaining funds will be utilized for the Coats for Kids project and the club’s plans during the annual Special Olympics Day at LaFayette High School in the spring.
The club has already donated 76 coats in the past two months
Similar plans are in the works for the second Reindeer Run, to be held in 2013, with a few runners already planning to return.