Runners, walkers brave the rain for inaugural Laces For Love Run
Published 11:50 am Saturday, February 10, 2024
Even in a downpour, the bon temps roulered for the inaugural Laces For Love Run Saturday morning in downtown Vicksburg.
More than 150 people registered, and about half that number braved heavy rain to compete in the event’s 5K and 10K runs and 5K race walk.
“Very happy with the turnout. We actually had a lot of people come and sign up this morning, which was surprising because it was flooding. We’re very thankful for everyone who weathered the weather,” race chairman Johnna Riddick said.
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Laces For Love was a fundraiser for the Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg’s various community service programs, and included a Mardi Gras theme. Participants were treated to bowls of jambalaya and slices of king cake after they finished, and the awards were small ceramic shoes painted different colors.
In addition to the races, there was also a shoe drive to collect footwear for needy families in Vicksburg. That part of the effort was what gave the race its name.
While some runners and walkers used Laces for Love as an initial tune-up for the bigger Run Thru History on March 2, most seemed to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere — even though rain literally dampened it.
Heavy rain moved into Vicksburg about an hour before the race started. It tapered off a bit as the runners set out on the course and stopped completely by the time they finished.
“It was laid back. It was definitely something if they bring back to Vicksburg next year I would definitely participate in,” said Vicksburg resident Terrie Foster, who won the women’s 5K walk championship with a time of 37 minutes and 12 seconds.
Foster was third overall in the race walk, behind fellow Vicksburg residents Ron Roma and Steve Pranger. Roma was first overall, in 34:33, and Pranger second in 36:34.
Foster was followed in the top five by Teresa Schlosser (37:12) and Lee Fore (37:39).
“I just tried to keep up with Miss Teresa. That was my pacesetter. I was on her heels the whole entire time and toward the end I just passed her,” Foster said.
Jackson resident Roland Rhodes won the 10K run in 38:28, nearly six minutes ahead of Vicksburg’s Peyton Davidson.
Davidson clocked a time of 44:46. Clinton’s Matthew Castle was third in 45:12, and Bill Sisneros and David Ashworth rounded out the top five.
In the 5K run, St. Aloysius High School senior Walker Lambiotte sprinted away from Phillip Doiron over the last 200 meters to win the overall championship.
Lambiotte had a time of 25:22, which was seven seconds ahead of Doiron and 10 ahead of Taylor Lampkin. Eli Herring was fourth in 25:59 and Mark Lipking fifth in 26 minutes even to provide a competitive finish to the inaugural race.
“It’s been a little bit since I’ve ran competitively, but I felt good. I had a good running partner so I just tried to keep a good pace throughout it,” Lambiotte said.
He added that he was happy to see another race added to Vicksburg’s running calendar. Laces For Love is the first of seven 5K or 10K races scheduled in the city in 2024. The next one up is the Run Thru History on March 2.
“It’s just one of those things I felt I had to do. It was good to do. I love that we have another race in Vicksburg. I wanted to support a local race,” Lambiotte said.
Lambiotte’s St. Aloysius schoolmates Samantha Edwards and Hendrix Eldrdige tried their best to share the women’s 5K championship, but were a step out of sync.
Edwards said the two were trying to cross the timing pad at the start-finish line together, but mistimed their final steps. Edwards won the title and was seventh overall, in 28:10. Eldridge, officially, was a second behind.
“We tried to cross at the same time, but she stepped on it and I thought we were stepping over it,” Edwards said.