Over 2,500 runners turned out in the muggy morning mist for the 25th annual Covington Police Department Fuzz Run Saturday.
A crowd stretching for blocks launched itself from the Conyers Street starting line as children, adults with strollers, and people of all ages and fitness levels took to the streets to raise money for the Police Who Care fund.
Betty Smith and her five grandchildren, Stephanie Robinson, Keke Robinson, Aloysius Robinson, Jr., Miata Robinson, and Bruce Smith, Jr. participated in the 5 kilometer race together for the first time.
"And boy we're paying for it too," she said, laughing. "We all started out together but as we spread out, we all left each other. But we ended up back together."
Enthusiastic supporters, such as Wilna Mullis of Oxford, who came out to support her son in the race, cheered the runners along the route and handed out cups of water.
While many were simply participating for fun, there were also a number of professionally competitive runners and out-of-town visitors.
"This is a great race," said Mark Compton of Athens, who had participated in the race several times before as part of the Run & See Georgia series. "Whenever they have a race that the police are in charge of it, it goes really well. They just have a lot of connections," he said.
Claire and Gareth Stride, New Zealanders who are living in Duluth for three years as part of a teacher exchange program, were similarly impressed and said they'd enjoyed themselves.
The overall winners and in each age category were called to the stage to receive their prizes. Special recognition was given to Donna McDaniel of Covington, who managed to participate in every 5k race since the Fuzz Run began 25 years ago.
CPD Chief Stacey Cotton was pleased at the turnout. "I'm extremely proud of the hard work of Ken Malcolm and all the staff and volunteers did," said Cotton. "I'm just really excited about the turnout and the fact we broke 2,500 runners on the 25th anniversary."
For the list of winners for each age category, turn to the Sunday edition Sports section.