The walk and run brought out a range of ages, shapes, generations and fitness levels. Rosemary Brannen, 58, was one of many locals inspired to sign up for her very first 5k. “I originally planned to do this as a walk,” she laughs. “But Sarah and Katie convinced me I could run it.”
To prepare, Brannen joined Head to Toe Fitness Studio’s eight-week 5k training program, which included race-specific exercises, breathing control and progressively longer runs. “They were amazing,” says Brannen of her instructors. “They truly supported us in our efforts. I would never have imagined I would run a 5k. But now I’m down one dress size and so proud of myself for being able to do this.”
Joining her in the race was her granddaughter, Quinnie Shields, 14, who heard about the run through yoga classes she attended at Head to Toe Fitness. Shields signed up for the 5k, her first, with other members of her school’s cross country team. Together, they prepped for the race by running at least three miles a day for the four weeks leading up to the event.
“The 5k was an awesome event for Downsville to have,” Shields said. “It really brought the community together and will only continue to get bigger and better in years to come.”
Scheduled to coincide with the town’s annual Maple Leaf Festival, the Downsville 5k kicked off a weekend of fall fun for all ages. Vendors lined the streets selling everything from maple products to homemade soaps, handmade jewelry, local produce and antiques.
Runners were treated to a hay ride to the top of Markert’s Hill, offering up scenic views for miles and miles, overlooking Downsville, the Pepacton Reservoir, and the 5k race course, which one could say was the “best dam” view in town.