Runners brave the cold during 5K

Nearly 200 participants span Liberty Mountain to complete the 3.1-mile race hosted by Student Activities

Frigid temperatures — Runners don beanies, gloves and facemasks as they cross the starting line at Snowflex. Photo credit: Jillian Springer

Despite some light snow flurries, almost 200 runners showed up to the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre to participate in the Liberty Mountain 5K hosted by Liberty University Student Activities last Saturday, Feb. 16. The chilly morning did not stop those who showed up prepared to run the 3.1-mile race.

Runners from 7 to 99 years old participated in the event, and top finishers in each age and gender group received medals and trophies.

Sam Dangc took first place with a time of 21:06. Samantha Schreiber, 15, from Gladys, Va., was the fastest female runner, with a time of 25:47.

Dangc, a graduate student studying exercise science at Liberty, was not deterred by the weather. He even said that he likes running in the rain and snow.

Joel Gibson, a teacher at Heritage Elementary School, brought a group of elementary students to run the 5K. The students are part of a running club that he set up last year at the elementary school.

“We had 16 race today,” Gibson said. “We were all in in 55 minutes. I think that was good. It was a hard course, and my winners were just over 30 minutes, which on that course is amazing.”

The students involved from Heritage were all in second and third grade, with the oldest being 9 years old.

Light flurries had started a few minutes before the race, and it snowed on and off throughout the event. However, many of the runners did not have a problem with the snow, and the crowd gathered before the race cheered when they realized that the flakes were falling.

“It’s kind of nice, refreshing — although it got in your eyes a little bit,” third place finisher Joshua Cromwell said about the snow.

Cromwell, a junior at Liberty, said that he had been involved in running during high school, but had just picked it up again last year.

Georgianna Estell, an avid runner who has taken part in many of the trail series events since she first came to Liberty, was the fourth place female runner, with a time of 26:56.

“I came here this morning tired, so I was surprised that I did as well as I did,” Estell said.

Student Activities provided refreshments before the race, and served pizza afterwards. They also raffled off several gift cards, including ones to Starbucks and Chipotle.

The Liberty Mountain 5K is part of the Spring Trail series hosted by Student Activities. It is the second race they have held this year. The next race in the series, the Bald Mountain 10K, will be held Saturday, April 27 at Camp Hydaway.

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