ONEONTA _ More than 370 runners and walkers between the ages of 7 and 76 participated in the 13th annual SADD 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, organizers said.
The "Strides for Safety" event at Oneonta High School also presented a health fair in the school's gymnasium.
The cost to enter the race was $15, and money raised is distributed to Students Against Destructive Decisions at area schools depending on participant designations, OHS SADD adviser Cathy Lynch said Sunday. Clubs have other fundraisers, and businesses support the program, which helps pay for after-prom parties, among other projects, she said.
More than 450 people registered for the event, but some signed up to show support and didn't run or walk, Lynch said.
Official times were clocked for 370 runners and walkers. The route was from East Street, north of the entrance to the high school, to Lower Reservoir Road and back onto East Street, ending at the high school.
Some supporters cheered racers on at the finish line near the entrance to the high school building, and beyond the finish line participants shared hugs, handshakes and high-fives.
Ray Beach of Gilbertsville said his girlfriend, Danielle Manwarren, and his son Nate, 16, trained for a couple of months for Sunday's event, their first race.
"I'm proud of them," Beach said as he waited to see them at the finish line.
SADD helps students with "the best prevention tools possible to deal with the issues of underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving and other destructive decisions," according to the organization's website.
Runners and non-runners participated in Sunday's 5K.
James Cone, 20, a 2009 graduate of Laurens Central School, said his girlfriend was volunteering at the event, and he signed up to run to support SADD. He didn't train "at all" for the race, he said, and the hills made his run "pretty bad."
"It was worth it," Cone said, "just to help out the cause."
Kim Scofield, 16, an 11th-grader who runs cross country and track at Oneonta High School, said the SADD race not only benefitted a good cause but was fun. Scofield said she ran pretty well. Records showed her time at 22.54 minutes.
"It's a nice day _ not too hot, not too cold," she said. "The breeze is just right."
Student groups joined Safe Kids of Otsego County, the county health department and some businesses to present information about nutrition and safety measures, such as using car seats for children. Children's art on posters illustrated SADD messages, and some visitors _ adults and students _ sported face paintings.
The Oneonta Spanish Club gave away carrot juice.
"People have liked it," said Madeleigh Place, 15, of Oneonta. The concoction was based on combining three carrots with three apples, which add sweetness, she said, plus celery to taste.
Place said: "It's extremely healthy for you."