The Tri-County Senior Center 5K Run, Waddle and Roll event held April 28 marked six years this year and turned out to be a perennial draw for runners of all ages.
For Truman Elementary first-grader Liam Blankis, 7, the 5K was a chance to show how fast he can run.
“I wanted to do it because I’m a really fast runner,” Liam said. “I ran by myself. If my mom got ahead of me I ran fast to catch up.”
Liam said maybe the reason he could finish the three-mile course so fast was because he is good at Zumba and Pound. He takes part in classes taught by his mom, Jessica Blankis.
But what he likes better than anything are math and science.
As an only child, running the 5K gave him a chance to do something else he likes.
“Sometimes I like someone to play with,” said.
Liam was one of 52 runners and walkers who participated in the sixth annual senior center 5K. Carolyn Barfield chairs the event, which is a major fundraiser for the senior center.
Among the crowd of faithful runners, walkers and moms pushing carriages was one Eureka family that has made the run every year since its inception. Dan and Stephanie Little and their children Luke, Sophie, Nathan and Cohen, return year after year.
Pat Dubuque and Daphne Lindemann cheered as runners took off at 8:05 a.m. for the 40-block run from the senior center, through a section of Hogan subdivision, into downtown and back.
The Pacific Police Department mapped the route for maximum safety for runners.
Ham radio operators with the Pacific Meramec Valley Amateur Radio Club were posted along the route to help keep track of runners and summon immediate help in case any runner ran into difficulty.
“Steve Myers has helped with every 5K since the beginning,” Barfield said. “We weren’t sure if he’d be available after he got elected (mayor), but here he was.”
The first runner across the finish line was Luke Little, No. 42, who completed the race in 22 minutes and 28 seconds.