Soggy conditions early Saturday morning didn’t dampen morale in yet another successful Rose City Walk.
Thomasville drew 495 participants for the 33rd annual 5,000-meter event, which began, ran and concluded amid persistent precipitation.
“Mother Nature tried it’s best to hold us back but we were determined,” said Dr. Jim Story, who has anchored the event since its inception in 1982. “Its amazing we had that many people finish in the rain.”
The Walk began on Washington St. adjacent to the Thomasville Culture Center, looped around Patterson and Clay Streets to Hansell St. and concluded at the same mark on Washington.
Cameron Stephens of Thomasville crossed the stripe first for the third consecutive year, finishing in 28 minutes and 38 seconds. Nancy Herring of Boston, who came in fourth overall, was the top female finisher for the seventh time after rounding the route in 30 minutes and 37 seconds.
Rounding out the top five for the males were Joel Carter of Thomasville (30 minutes and four seconds), Marshall Green of Thomasville (30 minutes and 33 seconds), Tony Gilbert of Blakely (30 minutes and 54 seconds) and Clay Cloud of Cairo (31 minutes and 46 seconds).
The top female finishers included Herring, Jennifer Reynolds of Boston (35 minutes and 37 seconds), Thomasville’s Peggy Willis (35 minutes and 37 seconds) and Pam Howel (35 minutes and 40 seconds), and Thomas County Central senior Kaylee Shaver (36 minutes and 35 seconds).
Thirtee-year-old Baley Welch of Cairo was the quickest youth participant across the line, finishing in 34 minutes and 45 seconds – quite a few minutes before his father, which reaped a rumble of laughter among the family after.
Herring, who has participated in the Rose City Run the last 30 years, took part in the Walk a few years following on the premise that “it makes walking exciting when you get so many people together.”
“I just really enjoy doing it. It’s a great way to gather people to community for a morning of exercise,” she said.