The Duncan Banner
More than 100 people are expected to jog through Velma on Saturday in the third annual Mayor’s 5K Road Race, an event billed for both community fun and a remembrance of slain teen Braylee Rae Henry.
The run kicks off at Velma-Alma High School at 7:30 a.m. Some folks will take part in a 1-mile fun run, while others plan to go the distance on a 5-kilometer course through town.
Those who pre-registered for the race paid $15 each and are guaranteed a T-shirt. For $20, anyone can still register the morning of the event, starting at 6:30 a.m.
Prizes will be given to the first three finishers in each of eight age categories.
The money will benefit the Velma-Alma cross country team, whose coach, Jerry Loveall, joined Velma Mayor Shawn Enloe in first organizing the event three years ago.
“I had thought about it for a while and the mayor had said something about starting a race and he asked me if I had an interest in trying to do them all in one,” Loveall said.
Last year’s event was dedicated as a “Race to Remember” Henry, a 16-year-old from Velma who was killed at a convenience store in town on June 6, 2012.
The 22-year-old man accused in her murder is set for an Aug. 19 hearing to determine if he is competent to stand trial. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
Henry played basketball for the Velma-Alma Lady Comets and also ran on the cross-country team.
This year’s event is also a tribute to Henry. The T-shirts have a little angel on them with a saying to love, remember and run for Braylee.
“We still have her name on our shirts,” Loveall said. “She would have been a senior this year.”
Enloe said he expected about 40 to 50 people to show up the first year of the run, but about 130 took part. About 140 people ran last year.