180 participate in Jackrabbit Run 4 Hope
By PAMELA GRANT
Thanks to its hills, 5k and 10k runs at Ogletree Gap are particularly challenging, but approximately 180 participants braved the course on Sunday during the Jackrabbit Run 4 Hope.
Despite recent rainy weather, the skies were clear for Sunday’s Jackrabbit Run 4 Hope 5k/10k walk/run. The event began promptly at 8 a.m. and the fastest racers began coming in after just 20 minutes.
Trey Graham of Harker Heights crossed the finish line first with a time of 20:20. Will Melendez came in 2nd with a time of 20:25 and Andrew Collins of Temple came in 3rd with a time of 20:34. Kailynn Denney of Harker Heights was the fasted female with a time of 20:42.
“It’s exciting. It’s my first ever 1st place finish,” said Graham, age 15. “The hills were tough. The competition was tough. It took a lot of energy and will to win the race.”
Many complained about the daunting challenge of the race’s final hill.
“I was happy with my time, for a hilly course,” said Andrew Collins, a captain in the Army. “The hills were tough. It was mentally defeating, going up basically vertical.”
Overall most of the competitors just enjoyed the run and pushed themselves to do their very best in the race.
“I feel pretty good. There was another girl out there who I run with in track, and I was just hoping I’d do good,” said Kailynn Denney (12) who finished 4th overall and was the fastest female for the 5k. “Running is just something I find fun, and something I really like, and something that kinda helps me just relax a little bit when I’m stressed.”
In the 10k race, Rico Flores was the fasted finisher with a time of 42:26, with Holly Landez being the first female finisher with a time of 53:12.4 and finishing 9th overall.
The Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event for Hope Pregnancy Center and also donated a percentage of the proceeds to the group.
“It’s a good charity,” said Jennifer Flood, with the Chamber of Commerce.
The Hope Pregnancy Center is a Christ-centered ministry which offers help and hope to those facing unplanned pregnancies. They offer free confidential pregnancy tests, sonograms, counseling, parenting classes, information, practical assistance, and more.