Pelham’s first 5k a success

Published 2:00 pm Monday, November 19, 2018

PELHAM – The inaugural Pelham City Center 5k was a success, drawing 100 runners from throughout the area to Pelham City Park on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The 5k took runners on a flat, spectator-friendly course around the city’s growing recreation facilities and along Cahaba Valley Creek. The route for the 5k was mapped by avid runner, rec center member and 5k co-director Kevin Washburn. Water stations manned by Pelham High School students were placed near miles one and two and additional food and beverages were available at the finish line.

Parks and Recreation Director Billy Crandall said the turnout for the event exceeded his expectations.

“The goal was to have 60-75 runners, but we ended up with 100, which was our limit,” he said. “This will definitely become an annual event, maybe even biannual.”

Crandall said Washburn approached him with the idea to host a 5k. The idea of a 5k has come up in the past, but the city had never been able to do it because the park didn’t have the proper trails. Washburn said he volunteered with Pelham Parks and Recreation for the event because he wanted to create an event that would be an excellent experience for participants.

“We finally have the trails and the resources to do this and it also allows us to show off the park and the new facilities that have been built,” Crandall said.

As the run kicked off at 8 a.m., participants of all ages started the 3.1-mile run.

“A lot of families signed up to participate and that’s really what we wanted,” Crandall said. “One of the best things about this 5k is that we had runners of all skill levels – everyone completed it at their own pace. Some people walked some or most of it and others ran the whole thing.”

With a time of 18 minutes 50 seconds, Marcus Harris, of Pelham, finished the run in first place. He said he was glad to see the city hosting a 5k.

“I actually hit my best time out there today,” he said. “It was a really good course. This is one that I definitely plan on doing again.”

Thirteen-year-old Caden Blackman finished the run in third place with a time of 19 minutes, 23 seconds. Blackman, an eighth grader at Evangel Christian School, said he runs track for a club team so he didn’t need to prepare much for the run.

His mother, Annemieke Blackman, who also participated in the 5k said running is something their family likes to do together.

“I expected him to do well. I knew he’d at least finish in the top 10,” she said.

Crandall thanked events sponsors, the Pelham Police Department for blocking off the necessary roads, the Pelham Fire Department for providing emergency medical services, the Street Department for fixing the trails after heavy rain and councilwoman Mildred Lanier for singing the national anthem.