Record numbers turn out for Oakwood’s Red October Run

When it came time to sound the horn for the 21st annual Oakwood Red October Run, it was about 45 degrees, overcast and very windy.

But that was good news to the regulars who partake in the community health event—who have experienced all of that and rain at the same time, too.

“We’ve had beautiful weather years as well….this time we just missed,” said Cynthia Cook, community benefit coordinator for the Oakwood Healthcare System. She coordinates the event every year.

The weather didn’t keep runners or walkers away, however. There were 1,286 total registered for the event, an all-time record, Cook said.

The event took place in the City of Wayne, beginning and ending at Oakwood Annapolis Hospital. It featured a 5K walk and run, a 10K run and a Jr. October One-mile race for children. Participants of all ages—from toddlers to octogenarians—take part in the event, which is part of the Youth and Family Fitness Initiative at Oakwood Healthcare.

“It’s designed and implemented to promote, encourage and provide an opportunity for kids—and families—to participate in healthy activity,” said Cook. “It was great to see a lot of kids involved not only in the Jr. October Mile, but also the 10k and 5k events. A lot of parents were running with their kids, which is really what our Youth and Family Fitness Initiative is all about.”

Participants included Kevin Sherwood, who sported #21 in honor of his 21st consecutive appearance at the race, along with a group of 18 adults from a local residence for challenged adults. Some of them were not capable of handling a 5K walk, so Cook worked with the official scorer to create a shortened route for them that still provided the group with the thrill of receiving a numbered racing bib, joining in with the big 5K starting crowd and finishing under the huge finish line arch with everyone else.

Beth Wood, an 82-year-old nun, competed in her second Red October Run—and won her age group.

“She got a huge round of applause from a nice-sized crowd that stuck around for the awards ceremony,” said Cook.

Perhaps that is why the sun came out, nearly on cue, as soon as the award ceremony was over.

Wayne Mayor Al Haidous said the event was a popular tradition in the community.

“It is a great community event and we’re happy to have it here,” said Haidous. “The City of Wayne has always had a good partnership with Oakwood.”

For official race results, click here.