ORANGE PARK – Saturday’s Superhero Run featured people dressed in the costumes of many comic book heroes, but the main idea was to support the first responders and front-line personnel of the …
ORANGE PARK – Saturday’s Superhero Run featured people dressed in the costumes of many comic book heroes, but the main idea was to support the first responders and front-line personnel of the area, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, police, firefighters and veterans.
First Place Sports held a 5K/8K run, with proceeds going towards Grace Episcopal Day School. The race featured a one-mile fun run, followed by a five- and eight-kilometer runs along the River Road and the St. John’s River.
“The proceeds of this run help to support our financial aid program,” said Moppy McGee, director of admissions at Grace.
Hundreds of participants showed up to the event, looking for fresh air, exercise and camaraderie.
“I get emails from First Place sports,” said Anthony Dixon, a Jacksonville resident. “This is my second event at this location. I ran the one last week. I run more than one of these. I run these probably about once a month throughout the community. It’s good to get out, breathe some fresh air, see other people.” Dixon, like most people, has spent a lot of time in isolation over the last year, and this is one of his social events.
The faster runners took off, leaving the rest at a more measured pace. Many runners wore costumes featuring heroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Captain America, among others.
The 5K winner was Anne Centner of Tallahassee, who finished with a time of 16 minutes, 40 seconds.
“I just wanted to do a 5K time trial,” said Centner. “I just did a marathon in December, so I’m trying to get my speed back. I’m going to do the Gate River Run, 15K next.” Centner says that she attempts to come to Jacksonville at least once a season.
Benjamin Arnold, 18, of Jacksonville was the winner of the 8K. the University of Florida student finished with a time of a little more than 29 minutes.
“My parents were doing it [the 8K run],” Arnold said. “This year with COVID and all, the club team isn’t getting much races so I came out here. This is my first 8K. I started running in elementary school. That kind of got me into running. Then my dad started 5Ks and I was like, ‘Hmmmm.’”
Fleming Island resident Dan Lee also participated.
“It’s healthy to get out and enjoy the air and get some exercise,” he said. “And it’s a good social activity to make friends.”