Thou­sands run for Cov­ing­ton Po­lice

The Covington News - - Front page - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

Singer Bo Bice, of Amer­i­can Idol fame, brought some star power to this year’s 2012 Fuzz Run, singing the na­tional an­them and kick­ing off the 5K race with the clas­sic “On your mark. Set, Go.”

And when it was all said and done, a cou­ple of lo­cal run­ners took home the over­all crowns, as Cov­ing­ton res­i­dent Eric John and So­cial Circle res­i­dent Kelly Brown bested the other 2,000 con­tes­tants to win the 29th an­nual Fuzz Run. Top Fin­ish­ers

For John, who fin­ished the race with a time of 18 min­utes and 12 sec­onds, the win added to list of lo­cal race crowns he owns, as the 41 year old has also won Steeple Chase, Fire House and Heat of the Night 5K races.

“It’s al­ways cool to win the home­town race,” John said Satur­day. “Now I’ve won all the lo­cal races.”

John was born in Jacksonville, Fla. but moved to Cov­ing­ton in 1986 “for mar­riage.” He said this year’s race was his fourth or fifth Fuzz Run, but his first over­all win. His time was far off the course record (14:16), but John said it helped that the prize money run­ners weren’t in at­ten­dance this year.

He runs about 100 races a year, in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from 5Ks to 50-mile races. He ran in high school, but didn’t pick it back up un­til about three years ago and now loves it.

“Com­pet­ing. You got to com­pete,” John said when asked why he likes to run. “There’s noth­ing wrong with that.”

Brown, 26, took first place over­all for the women with a time of 22:02. While she likes to run, for her, it’s more of a fit­ness thing, as she only runs in a hand­ful of races ev­ery year.

“When­ever I get free time

I like to work­out,” Brown said. “Fit­ness is a big part of my life…it gives me a nat­u­ral high.”

She had to make a last minute dash to win the race mak­ing it a true photo fin­ish; Brown soundly beat her last per­sonal best of 23:17. Beat the Prin­ci­pal

In the midst of the Satur­day’s 2,024 rac­ers were around 40 to 50 students and fac­ulty from East­side, as Prin­ci­pal Jeff Cher is­sued a chal­lenge this year. Nor­mally, East­side se­niors get to leave for lunch a minute early so they can be first in line in the cafe­te­ria, but Cher sus­pended the priv­i­lege in Septem­ber and said he would only give it back to those se­niors who could beat him in the Fuzz Run.

“I’ve run the Fuzz Run for many years, and we al­ways see the dif­fer­ent schools cross coun­try teams out there, but I thought this would be a neat way to get the kids out and in­volved in the community and up and mov­ing around. I picked up run­ning and en­joyed it; it’s given me a way to ex­er­cise and I hope it will be the same for the kids.”

East­side se­nior An­drew Sneed took up the chal­lenge, but said a lack of prepa­ra­tion left him short of his goal as leg cramps slowed him to a time of 32 and a half min­utes, while Cher fin­ished at 27:28 (even af­ter he said he slowed down a lit­tle bit to give more students the op­por­tu­nity to beat him). Cher said about he thought about half the East­side par­tic­i­pants beat him.

When asked if it was dis­ap­pointed, Sneed said, “Not re­ally. I hope I’ll be able to do bet­ter next time. It’s all about im­prov­ing your­self. You don’t do it for a pot of gold (re­fer­ring to beat­ing Cher and leav­ing early for lunch), you do it for your­self.”

Cher thanked East­side’s Ju­lia Riggs for co­or­di­nat­ing the whole thing.

The East­side mem­ber got a bulk dis­count on signups and do­nated the money to this year’s Re­lay For Life ef­fort. Fi­nally, the gifts

The pro­ceeds from the 5K race go to the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment’s Po­lice Who Care fund, which is used to sup­port var­i­ous lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions. At this year’s Fuzz Run, the fund do­nated $500 to the Al­covy High School art depart­ment.

In ad­di­tion, sev­eral gifts were given away in­clud­ing a 50-inch TV and a gui­tar signed by Bo Bice.

Eric John (left) was the over­all win­ner of the Fuzz Run and Kelly Brown (in blue above right) pulled out a last-sec­ond win in the fe­male group Satur­day.

An­thony Banks /The Cov­ing­ton News

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