For seven years, walkers and runners have made their way through the mountains of Tucker County to the town of Davis for the Run For It 5k Run/2k Walk. On Saturday, the leaves were at their peak and the weather was beautiful, making for a perfect day for the charity event.
The town came alive as more than 1,000 participants lined up, closing the main road. Walkers, runners, children in strollers and pets all joined in the excitement.
The annual charity event is held in conjunction with the Leaf Peepers Festival. Arts and crafts, live music, a chicken BBQ and a children's bouncy house was all part of the excitement.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Sara Harris
A group of musicians play their instruments as they walk through Davis Saturday as part of the Run For It 5k Run/2k Walk.
Run For It provides opportunities to raise funds and awareness for community causes. Participants can run or walk, while philanthropists can sponsor teams or the event even if they don't compete.
Race sponsors build the purse, with the top sponsor this year being the Bernard McDonough Foundation with $25,000.
An all-time high of 40 different teams raised money for various causes, including cancer awareness, libraries, humane societies, church groups and a school playground, among others. More than $70,000 was awarded this year.
Development Director Diane Hinkle said, "Even though this is organized and put on by the Tucker County Foundation, it wouldn't be made possible without the volunteers, team captains, event staff and the race sponsors."
Alice Fleischman, from East-West Printing in Davis, designed the t-shirts for the event. She was part of a group of walkers who played music as they began their walk through town. First-time participant Ben Quarles of Davis played his guitar as they walked along and said they are a group of musicians who just get together and play. They said taking part was a very impromptu decision and they had a lot of fun.
The youngest "racer" was 7-week-old, Finn Cyr from Davis. He was carried by his father, Jason, who said the baby was getting off to a good start.
"It's just a good event to get out and support the community," Jason Cyr said. This will probably be the first of many races for his son, he said.
The first runner who made it back to the finish line was 21-year-old Alison Kimble from Morgantown. She was not with a team, but said, "I just love running."
Kimble also was last year's first place winner and said that she would "definitely do it again."
Committee Chairperson Anne Brown Wardwell said, "It's just an amazing event that draws everyone together and encourages support for their charitable causes."
Tammy Smith with the Belington Public Library said she was grateful for this event.
"Without this opportunity we would not be able to get the grant money from the state that the library needs to operate," Smith said.
For information on participating next year, contact the Tucker Community Foundation at 304-478-2930.