The Frozen Feet 5K Run took off early Saturday morning at Pell City’s Lakeside Park, with more runners than ever, and raising more money than it raised last year for Pell City High School’s dance line, color guard and winter guard.
Runners come from all over to be part of the race.
“We have to raise money for getting to competitions, buying the equipment we need, things like that,” said Kimberly Gossett Myers, sponsor for the school’s color guard.
The group will attend five competitions this year, where they show their skills in flag events and weapon and dance routines.
Pell City High School alumnus Matthew Brick organized the race when he realized how the school’s color guard needed support funding.
After leaving Pell City High School, Brick has been a student at Jacksonville State University. He ran track while in high school and continues running now.
“There were 93 registered runners this year,” Brick said. “It was the largest race. I am hoping that the race will be voted on to be put on the Anniston Runners Grand Prix.”
The Pell City Winter Guard raised over $2,100, Brick said.
“Everyone liked Bobby Humphrey being there signing autographs and being the grand marshal,” Brick said.
“He is already planning to be back next year with an auction with other ex-football player's uniforms.”
Next year's goal is to have over 100 runners, Brick said.
“We ran out of shirts for the race so that's a good thing,” he said. And without our sponsors we would not be successful.”
Once he graduates from Jacksonville State University, Brick said he plans a career in coaching track and field and cross country.
“This gives me the experience I need in order to become successful,” he aid. “I have already coached at Oxford and I was the first coach to take their cross country team to a 6A state championship.”
Any runner who did not get a shirt form the race may e-mail Brick (email@example.com).
“Matt started it for the girls,” said his grandmother, Earlene Dobson, who was on hand to help out for the 2011 race. “These kids didn’t have any support.”
The 13 members of the color guard help “work” the race, staffing water stations and preparing the course.
“But they’re thinking about running in it next year,” Myers said.
The activities with the color guard offer good training in camaraderie, learning a sense of pride and are a great form of exercise, she said.
Saturday’s race was a first for Anna Turner of Pell City, who won her age group for women with a time of 41 minutes and 42 seconds.
She credited her Zumba instructor, Nicole Anderson, with encouraging her to take up running and try the 5K.
Anderson won her age group for women as well, running the race in the same amount of time as Turner.
This was Pell City resident Jeff Tucker’s third Frozen Feet Race, he finished ninth overall.
Following an awards ceremony, the runners and their supporters enjoyed a warm fire in the parks pavilion with lots of hot coffee and food provided.