Running may not be a team sport, but it is a community sport.
That theory will be proven rather than tested Saturday, when the Covington Y hosts its 12th Annual Cheerios Challenge.
The 5K, 10K and 1-mile run will kick off as scheduled, following Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. The Cheerios Challenge typically has many of Covington Police Department’s finest helping out and gathered around the finish line, keeping the crowd protected.
Saturday, the security will be increased, according to the Y’s Louly Hay-Kapp, to keep an eye on increased nerves.
“We think it’s going to be a really good time to get out and run and celebrate the community and be together,” Hay-Kapp said.
That sense of community is why the number of participants have not only not decreased, but increased in light of the Boston tragedy. Hay-Kapp said no one has pulled out of the Cheerios Challenge, but rather, more people have signed up saying they are inspired by Boston.
“A few said it inspired them to go out and run,” Hay-Kapp said. “You should spend time with other people and families and this is a good way to do that. Being active always helps too.”
Surely racers will keep those in Boston in their minds as they trek through the streets of Covington, but it will also be brought to everyone’s attention during a pre-race moment of silence.
“Our hearts certainly go out to the people who are impacted by (the Boston tragedy),” Hay-Kapp said.
Registration for the Cheerios Challenge is still ongoing, with participants asked to sign up right through race day. The 10K starts at 7:30 a.m., followed by the 1-mile run at 9 a.m. and the 5K at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $20 for the race which begins at the Covington Y.