KEYSTONE HEIGHTS- Independence Day, July fourth, the 241st Birthday of our Nation. A day of celebration and patriotism. In Clay County’s small town with the big heart; Keystone Heights, it means …
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS- Independence Day, July fourth, the 241st Birthday of our Nation. A day of celebration and patriotism. In Clay County’s small town with the big heart; Keystone Heights, it means the 10th annual Kiwanis Our Country Day 5K. This year’s event was another success with 84 entrants. Even with the Keystone hills, warm 8 a.m. Temperature and high humidity, we saw a fast winner with 22-year-old Ryan Collins average a 5:52 mile pace for a 18:15 top finish, followed closely by overall second place finisher and top female 26-year-old Anne Elise Creamer with a 6:18 pace and 19:37 finish.
After his top place finish, Winner Ryan Collins said “The temperature and humidity made it hard to breathe. The time was tied for my personal record. I was looking to break 18, I didn’t get it but I’m still happy with the race and how it turned out. I’ll get it on the next one.” Asked about the course, Ryan said, “We’re running around neighborhoods inside Keystone Heights where it’s pretty hilly, ups and downs throughout, not too bad of a course, shaded most of the way.”
When I caught up with Anne Elise Creamer after the race to ask if she realized how close she was to catching Ryan for the top spot, she told me “I was running with the third-place guy (Tim Searle) for a while, I think he goes to Keystone Heights High. He was pointing me in the right direction and we were having a good time and then I kind of broke off him to try and catch the first-place guy but I didn’t really know how far away he was. I was just having fun. It was a great day, a great way to celebrate America. This is an awesome community.” Asked about the course, Anne Elise said, “It is so much fun. I love the Keystone Heights neighborhoods. It’s awesome, so beautiful here. I love the big oak trees and the neighborhoods are just beautiful. It’s nice running by the schools too.”
Tina Bullock, a member of the Kiwanis 5K committee that puts on the race provided some insight on where the proceeds from the race go to. “The proceeds from the race goes to several projects. A portion goes to the area food bank; The Lake Area Ministries, and then part of it goes to our Kiwanis Youth Projects that support our clubs at the schools such as Terrific Kid, Key Club, Builders Club at the junior high and high school, and Key Kids at the elementary school.