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Inaugural Monastery race sees large turnout
First Female Finisher Greciana Cooper at 22:24 - photo by Jessica Smith

Runners traversing the trails on a steamy Saturday at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit got a touch of the divine with their morning endorphins. The inaugural Monastery 5K Run/Walk on June 12 began with a 7 a.m. Community Mass in the historic and serenely beautiful Abbey Church. Brother Callistus said he was heartened to see roughly 200 of the 400 pre-registered runners show up an hour early to participate in the liturgy.

Cross Country Coach Matt Hofkes departing from his Fayetteville school at 5:45 a.m. with 12 runners in tow to participate in the innaugural run. He not only made it to Mass on time, but was the first runner to cross the finish line with a time of 18:34. Behind him were a swell of young and old. Most remarked about the hill around mile two that was coined "revenge hill."

Although he was impressed with the large percentage of runners over 65 in attendance, Callistus said he also appreciated the sight of so many strollers and wagons on the other end of the spectrum. Father Gerard, a member of the former category, completed his home course in a respectable 28:00, even after taking off a few minutes behind the pack.

"All in all, it was a great family and community event," said Callistus. "Our focus was sharing our resources with the community." He said he was thankful for Revolution Running's efforts in staging the race and the many community sponsors like Rockdale Medical Center, Fire Department and Jim ‘n Nick's BBQ. Race proceeds will go to the Monastery and their food bank operation.