More than 500 runners and walkers participated in the eighth annual Run the Quay 5K in downtown Fuquay on June 2, and their reasons for attending were as varied as the colors of their workout gear.
Tom McGrath said he was running with his family and helping to sponsor the race with Assagio’s Pizzeria. He said this was his “seventh or eighth” time running the 5K.
“I’ve run in quite a few races. This is a community event, so we want to be involved here,” McGrath said.
It was the second Quay 5K for Julie Vatter. Fun and companionship were the main draws for her.
“Last year I just did it with some friends, and some of us are going to do it again together. It’s just something to do that’s fun,” Vatter said.
Some runners used creative methods to draw attention to their businesses during the race. Several runners representing detention supplier Bob Barker Company, wore matching black-and-gray striped shirts with “Out 4 Life” printed on the backs.
Barker said that the slogan represented the company’s goal to increase efforts to re-civilize prison inmates.
“The Bob Barker Foundation is focused on decreasing recitivism, and rehabilitating prisoners,” Barker said.
Jennifer Barker said that the uniforms also reflected the company’s Get Fit Challenge, which included tracking each person’s daily footsteps with clip-on pedometers she called “Fit Bits.”
“Within our company, it’s made us competitive, which is fun,” Betty Spears, also running with Bob Barker, said.
The gun went off at 8 a.m., and sideline viewers and number crunchers did not have to wait long for the winner. Parker Lee, 15, crossed the finish line at 17:56.
Lee is a Fuquay Varina High School freshman and a member of the school’s cross country team. He said he ranks No. 1 in the state for two-mile races.
“I feel fantastic,” Lee said after the race. “I ran last year and came in ninth. I did not expect to win.”
Lee credited his father, who ran with him, for his athletic success.
“He started going to the gym and being a beast. He dropped 50 pounds, and he inspired me to be a runner, and I made him a runner,” Lee said.
What is next for the newest Quay 5K champion?
“I’m going to go home and take a bath, and then I’m going to South Dakota for altitude training,” Lee said.