Gainesville MS 5K Proves Successful Fundraiser, Family Event

5K runners stand at the starting line, listening to directions about the course. (Credit: Renee Ordoobadi)


The Gainesville Middle School PTO held its fourth annual 5K and one mile Fun Run on Limestone Drive Saturday, March 16, raising $4,000 for the school and one local charity.

Despite the damp, gloomy weather, runners kept their enthusiasm. Many sported vibrant colored clothing, from the green 5K t-shirts given to runners before the race, to neon shorts and headbands. Upbeat music blared from speakers, and everyone was pumped up, ready to run.

“The race itself is a good family and community event. It’s also a great fundraiser for the school and SERVE (of Northern Virginia.) The funds will be split in half,” said PTO president Sheryl French.

Gainesville Middle School has recently become known as the school for the arts and sciences; thus, the PTO earmarked this year’s donations towards helping the school purchase needed materials to further those programs.

Decked in St. Patty's Day green, one young runner returns from the fun run.

To raise additional funds, the PTO also held a silent auction sponsored by local and health/wellness-related businesses including Swimkids, Ingleside Vineyards, One Life Fitness, Ashburn Ice House and House of Speed.

“It’s going well. We sent letters to a lot of these (local businesses and organizations), and they just sent us stuff. A lot of these companies support the school, which is really nice,” said Maria Duffus, a parent volunteer.

Besides placing bids at the silent auction, friends and families gathered together before both races, stretching in a warm-up led by a trainer from House of Speed.

Parents were excited to run beside their children in the event.

“This is my daughter’s first 5K, so we’ve been looking forward to running it together,” said Rana Kahn. Her daughter Shana has been jogging around her neighborhood for weeks prior to the race.

Other middle school students were also enthused to involve their families in the school-spirited activity.

“Well, I wanted to be active, and I wanted to do something with my family,” said Kamryn Koch, a seventh grader at Gainesville Middle School. Kamryn ran the one mile Fun Run with her parents, while her parents ran the one mile and the 5K – an additional 3.1 miles.

Runners are tired but determined, crossing the finish line. (Credit: Renee Ordoobadi)

Participants were categorized by age: 10 and under, 11-15, 15-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and up. The top six runners in each age group – three men and three women – received medals.

Thomas Fox, a seventh grader at Parkside Middle School proved that practice pays off. He was the first to cross the finish line of the 5K race in eighteen minutes and forty-one seconds.

“It felt great; this is my first time being in a 5K race. I’ve been running five miles every day since September to prepare,”  Fox said.

Duane Novotni came in second with 0:18:51. Third place went to Rachel McArthur for running the 5K in 0:20:16. will post the full race results.






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Category: Education, Health and Fitness

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