By Lindsay Starr Platt
First Presbyterian Church of Temple hosted its third annual Living Waters 5K Fun Run and Walk. The race started at 6 p.m. just as the storm was trying to settle in at Confederate Park. The runners ran along the Nolan Creek Trail as far as the new bridge at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue (MLK) at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) campus. All proceeds from the race will go toward the installation of a sustainable clean water system in rural Nicaragua.
“Proceeds from last year’s race were used to install a system at a school in Los Chimbos, Nicaragua, and we taught the local Nicaraguans were to run and maintain the system in good working order,” said race director Janice Smith. “Next year, we will install a system in the community of La Mora, Nicaragua and will serve three communities from that system.”
Nicaragua is one of many places in the world where women and children often walk over five kilometers a day to collect water for daily use. The “run and walk” was also five kilometers to serve as a reminder to participants that it is not an easy task.
“Running for communities that need water make this a worthwhile cause,” said Chris McGilvery, director of Temple Education Foundation.
“It was a great time. I was honored they asked me to lead the warm-ups,” said Richard Hill owner of Synergy Karate Academy. “You want to get the blood flowing before any strenuous exercise to help prevent cramping. I think it is great to raise money for clean water in Nicaragua. I was proud to be a sponsor for this event.”
“We lucked out with the weather and we got about 80 runners ready to go,” said Smith. “We will have a picnic afterward with hotdogs and fruit. All of the runners that registered early also got t-shirts.’
“Good run! I like to pin my race number on my back and it always feels like someone is behind me,” said Temple resident John Schuchmann. “I enjoyed it and really liked the trail at the UMHB bridge.”
Runners of all ages to include those still in strollers participated in the 5K. Many runners also brought out their furry companions as their dogs joined them for the jog.
“I regretted it when I started. But as I got toward the finish line it got better,” said Vi Nguyen of Houston. “It gets harder as you get older. You really have to keep up with your running to be able to do it.”
“My first time on that trail and it was beautiful. I did a triathlon this morning, so this was last minute to participate in this run,” said Jasmine Khan of Waco. “You can blow $25 on something to eat or you can do something for a good cause, like clean water,”
The first runner to cross the finish line was Heather Minnick of Temple and her daughter Zoey that was pushed along in a jogging stroller.
“It was very well organized and it was a comfortable race. There were some hill, but also some very rewarding downhills,” said Kathy Daniell of Salado.
“Whenever they have a race alongside Nolan Creek I try to be a part of it, but this was my first time running on the new bridge by UMHB on MLK,” said Nikki Velarde of Belton.