The North Carolina Justice Academy’s 2nd Annual 5k is off to a running start. The cause will support “Hope For The Warriors,” a nonprofit created in 2006 to support service members and their families.
On Oct. 17 the race will start off at 4 p.m. and will be a three-mile loop through downtown Salemburg. This will offer the opportunity for friends and families to “Run like you’re guilty” through a flat and paved track that is rural and will be full of fall foliage. The run encourages teams and also family participation; however, participants may walk the course if they would rather do that instead of running. Often there are families walking together and moms pushing strollers.
“We were looking for something solid to support,” said Justice Academy director Mark Strickland. “This nonprofit came to the top of the list.” The nonprofit was founded right here in North Carolina and is run by military wives.
“This organization was providing a wide range of services to these people,” Strickland said in an interview Tuesday. The organization offers family support, scholarships, outdoor adventures, and other programs to support these people in need. Last year the NCJA raised $2,700 in support of this cause.
Bob Garbett, a former Marine, participated as a runner last year and said he is looking forward to doing it again this year. He explained that “Hope For The Warriors” has an office at Camp Lejeune and they are involved with the Wounded Warrior Battalion there.
Robin Kelleher, the President/CEO of “Hope For The Warriors” was also at Camp Lejeune at one time, but she now resides in northern Virginia. Garbett said that he ran in the half marathon at Camp Lejeune last May. He runs a lot and he enjoys the challenge of completing a race.
“It was an honor to run for this organization last year and to run with my co-workers and other people who wanted to support the event,” Garbett said Tuesday. “This event pulled out others that I usually don’t get to run with.” Garbett explained that some people gave up their vacation time to come out for this race last year and some even came home from the beach to participate.
Strickland said that the NCJA would like to thank Tarheel Challenge, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, the EMS, and the town of Salemburg for all their support with this event.
If running isn’t an option, there will be the chance to walk the 5k five minutes after the runners start. Marcella Bonner was one of the walkers that participated last year.
“I wanted to help the ‘Hope For The Warriors’ and I plan on doing it again this year,” she said. Her father-in-law was Special Forces and she wanted to do this in support of the people that need services. She said her husband has been particularly encouraging.
“I thought this was an excellent cause and a great opportunity for friends to get together for a good cause,” said Bonner. Her daughter also walked the race with her as well.
In order to be guaranteed a T-shirt, race registration must be received by Friday, Oct. 4.
Race packets will be available to be picked up the Wednesday before the race, Oct. 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and also on the day of the race from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the NCJA Administrative Annex building. Awards will be presented at 5:30 p.m. after the race.
For more information including race registration forms please visit http://ncja.ncdoj.gov/5k.apsx or call Alice Butler at 910-525-4151