Approximately 850 runners and walkers took to the streets of Del Ray and Rosemont on Saturday morning for the 2012 Kelley Cares 5K.
“This is our biggest Kelley Cares Race yet,” said Lindsey Swanson, race emcee.
The Kelley Cares Foundation was established in 2006 in memory of Kelley Swanson, a graduate and active community volunteer.
With the temperature in the low 60s and the humidity at a minimum, the early morning race was a dream for runners—and a couple dozen dogs, too.
It was also a dream come true for the Swanson family.
“It means so much to us, and Kelley would have absolutely loved today,” said Katey Swanson, twin sister of Kelley, who served as volunteer coordinator at the race.
Emily Moran, Katey’s college roommate, has made the trip from Virginia Beach to Alexandria every year to participate in the race.
“The outpouring of support, year after year from the community, is incredible,” said Moran. “To see all these people out here is amazing, and all for such a great family and cause.”
“Kelley is definitely smiling down on us today,” added Katey.
In its fifth year, the race not only benefits the city’s Therapeutic Recreation Program but also the Miracle League of Alexandria.
Portions of the funds raised from the race will go to the Miracle League to build a synthetic turf baseball diamond specifically designed so that individuals with special needs can safely play.
In partnership with Alexandria and the Kelley Cares Foundation, the Miracle League will have the field ready for play next month.
“We cannot thank you enough for your support and generosity,” Lindsey Swanson said to the participants at the starting line. “It is because of all of you that the Miracle Field has become a reality.”
The Miracle Field, located on the southwest field of the , will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on June 16 at 8:30 a.m. The public is welcome and encouraged to join in the ceremony.
This year’s overall race winner was Garret Martucci of Arlington, who finished in 16 minutes, 18 seconds. The first female to cross the finish line was Barbara Fallon Wallace of Alexandria, who ran the 3.2-mile course in 17:40.
For a complete listing of race times and results, check out the Kelley Cares website.