Rome High’s Real is the real win­ner of Harbin Hero Hus­tle

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Doug Walker [email protected]

In spite of the all the su­per he­roes in the race, Rome High se­nior Es­dras Real ran away from the field at the Harbin Hero Hus­tle 5K in Ridge Ferry Park Satur­day night. Real said he beat his best pre­vi­ous 5K, 3.1-mile time by a full minute.

The event, a fundraiser for Rome-Floyd Parks and Re­cre­ation, drew a record crowd of ap­prox­i­mately 750 rac­ers and walk­ers, many of them dressed in su­per hero at­tire, from Bat­man to Su­per­man to Won­der Woman.

Es­dras led a strong con­tin­gent of Rome High cross-coun­try run­ners to the fin­ish line. He said his best pre­vi­ous 5K was 16:59 and said the clock said 15:49 as he crossed Satur­day night.

“I just felt real good,” Real said.

Parks and Rec Di­rec­tor Kevin Cowl­ing said funds gen­er­ated by the event help his agency put on a va­ri­ety of free pro­gram­ming for the com­mu­nity, from the Movies in the Park se­ries to the In­de­pen­dence Day fire­works dis­play.

“It also helps our Spe­cial Needs pro­gram­ming,” Cowl­ing said.

Jim Alred, a mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist at Harbin, said the Hero Hus­tle grew out of an event that was called the Zom­bie-Thon.

The Zom­bie-Thon was very suc­cess­ful in its first two years but the crowd dropped off sig­nif­i­cantly in the third year. Alred said Betsy Hamp­son with the rec depart­ment thought some­thing re­lated to su­per he­roes might be a good switch since all of the su­per hero movies have been ma­jor at­trac­tions.

“Harbin is a huge part­ner,” Cowl­ing said. “It’s great to have such a great part­ner to put us in a po­si­tion to be bet­ter able to serve the com­mu­nity.”

Cowl­ing said last year’s event raised close to $15,000 and he was hop­ing to ex­ceed that with the record reg­is­tra­tion this year.

Fol­low­ing the race, the rec depart­ment of­fered up Avengers In­fin­ity War as part of its Movies in the Park se­ries.

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