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The annual Holy Cross Lutheran 5K race was held recently at Geist to benefit the Sharing Place.

Those folks tromping through the streets of Geist on Saturday, Oct. 26, weren’t running in circles — they were running the Holy Cross Lutheran 5K Race for charity. Organized by the church on Oaklandon Road, the race raises money for The Sharing Place over at 6501 Sunnyside Road. It’s a ministry of Lutheran Child and Family Services, providing a food and clothing pantry for Indianapolis citizens in need.

“This is our 10th annual 5K run here at Holy Cross,” said the Rev. John Sattler of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, wearing a T-shirt with the race’s other name: the Neighbors Sharing with Neighbors 5K. “The reason we do this is to help raise funds for our Sharing Place. That’s where we try to help the community.”

While the average time for the 3.1 miles was 35 minutes and 17 seconds, several runners really kicked up their heels. Among those turning in top times for the day: Mike Hlavek (18:19), Joe Bergin (18:56), Amanda McMahon (19:15), Nathan Luepke (19:21), Ben Grese (19:46), Joe Burton (19:51), Megan Harrison (22:24), Anna Stachel (23:37), Angelia Kniesly (24:08) and Lily Johnson (24:11). To find out how other runners fared, race results are posted online.

Sattler — as trim and enthusiastic as the runners who turned out that gray, cold and windy late-October day — says the congregation enjoys doing its part to help the community.

“We’ve always been a church involved in the community. We try to do what we can to spread the word of God and also help people with their physical and spiritual needs,” he said.

The 100-plus residents who tied on their sneakers, plus a few dogs all gussied up in various costumes, were eager to hit the pavement to shake off the day’s gloomy weather and lift spirits at The Sharing Place.

Crystal Wilmot, development manager for the food and clothing pantry, expressed appreciation for the effort, especially since the demand for services has increased over the past year. With 100 percent of the goods and services needed to put on the 5K race donated, all $1,400 raised will go directly to The Sharing Place. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans contributed another $700.

Several other area organizations also provided support to help make the event possible:

  • Au Bon Pain (food for racers)
  • Kellee Peek and Castleton Trophy Center (medals)
  • Andrew and Amanda Fritz with The End Result Co. (chip-timing of race)
  • Jan Smith and Flanner & Buchanan Funeral Centers (water for racers)
  • GetMeRegistered.com (race registration)
  • Cheri Kirkpatrick (certificates)
  • Tom Britt of atGeist.com (publicity)
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church (coffee and shelter)

Gail Henricks, Greg Gossart and Debbie Sapper were the “Team Tenacious” race-day volunteers. These eager volunteers and Sattler hope to see even more residents turn out for the race next year. Take a look at the race’s very own Facebook page or click here for photos taken by Maria Lyon of this year’s exciting event.

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