Hundreds turn out for Star Spangled Night Run

Published 6:11 pm Monday, July 2, 2018

Several hundred people ran and partied into the night Saturday to celebrate Vicksburg’s newest running event.

The Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation hosted the inaugural Star Spangled Night Run in downtown, with nearly 200 people participating in the 5-kilometer run and walk and plenty more sticking around for the afterparty in the courtyard of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center.

“We were pleased with the turnout. We wanted to get to 200 and we just about made it,” SCHF director Stacey Mahoney said. “We had almost 200 in the run, and then a couple hundred more friends and family waiting for them to return.”

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In the 5K run, Katie Reese came in first place overall with a time of 21 minutes, 12 seconds. Daniel Sumerall finished first among the men with a time of 22:09. Josh Eargle earned third place overall with a time of 23:25, and Kelsey Conner was fourth in 23:33.

Three of the top six finishers were under the age of 20.

Reese, a 19-year old Clinton native, was thrilled to come out with the victory.

“I didn’t start in first place, I normally will look at the people in the field and see who I think looks pretty serious and try and go out with them,” Reese said. “There’s a guy from Warren Central High School, and he was in front of me for a mile, and then I caught up to him, and then I just tried to push in front and start with the police car.”

Reese ran in high school, and now runs marathons and is training for her first triathlon.

“The course was hilly, but the downhills were nice, and honestly it’s better than a completely flat course. It gives some definition,” Reese said.

She said she’d like to compete in the race again and was very excited when she crossed the finish line.

“I thought oh wow, I actually did that,” Reese said. “I just want to thank God, and then my training.”

In the 5K walk, 58-year old Vicksburg resident Steve Pranger won the overall title with at time of 31:55, and 34-year old Ashley Frey won the women’s championship with a time of 33:28.

“It was very exciting,” Frey said. “I’m usually a runner, but I decided to walk this time, and I really enjoyed it. It’s the first time I’ve walked at night in Vicksburg, so it was nice to see it from a different perspective.”

Pranger was excited to get the victory since he had competed in another race that morning. He enjoyed the race, and said he’d want to do it again next year.

“It’s unique, having it at night,” Pranger said. “It’s something different.”

Frey also was interested in competing in the race again.

“It was still pretty warm because it’s the middle of the summer, but it was nice the sun wasn’t out,” Frey said.