By Thomas Sellers Jr.
One of the highlights of the Millington Relay for Life season took place Saturday at Aycock Park.
Dozens of runners, walkers and one-milers came out for the Fourth Annual Bunny Hop 5K benefiting Relay for Life raising money for cancer research.
The plans of the day were to have a competitive race, fun activities near the starting/finish line and a Easter Egg Hunt. But because of the wet conditions, the egg hunt was postponed. But runners like Jeremy Tincher were able to get a 3.2 mile run in during the morning with ideal running conditions.
Under cloudy skies with cool temperatures, Tincher crossed the line first with a time of 22 minutes and 22 seconds.
Tincher ran the Mito What 5K last week and completed the 3.1 mile course in a time slightly more than 21 minutes. The Millington resident said he enjoys good exercise for a good cause.
Back in November, event organizer Cathy Pike started the process of attracting runners like Tincher to the Bunny Hop 5K by registring the event online.
Then in the weeks leading up to Saturday, Pike along with other volunteers handed out flyers on the event and signed up sponsors. It was more than a decade ago, Pike and her husband Jimmy became faces of the Millington Relay for Life.
“Cancer is killing people everywhere,” she said. “I don’t know the percentage exactly, but a lot of people are affected by cancer. Everybody is touched by this disease. I just dont’ understand why we can’t get more participation for this cause. Jimmy and I have been doing Relay for Life for 12 years now, not just the running event.”
With events like the Celebrity Watier Dinner, Gong Show and Main Event which is scheduled for May 18 also at Aycock Park, over the past 12 years Flag City has raised more than $430,000 for cancer research.
“We’re trying to get more people involved in the cause,” Cathy concluded. “When people hear Relay for Life, everyone thinks it’s a run. It’s not a run. It’s a race for a cure.”
In the running event, Tincher took first overall. Second overall was Walter Clark. The top two women to finish were Laura Swain and Kimberly Cedar. Swain completed the course in a time of 25:35.
Among the volunteers working the events were Megan Drenning, Amy O’Connor, Bruce and Leanne, T.J. and Logan Kidwell, Charlotte and Bobby Porter, Jane Pike, Miek and Kelly Goode, Spencer Brooks and Ricky McDaniel as the Easter Bunny.