More than 2,200 participants – and the wheels of a bunch of baby strollers – pounded the pavement of West Main Street in Lebanon last Saturday morning as Sherry’s Run returned to Wilson County’s fundraising lineup after a one-year absence.
The event, which raises money for the non-profit organization Sherry’s Hope to assist cancer patients in Wilson County and adjacent counties, was a virtual-only event in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Lebanon native Nathan Mangrum was the first male finisher of the 5K race held on a sunny morning with no wind, finishing with a time of 16:20. Karalynn Meyer of Nashville had the best female time at 21:59.
Mangrum is a former track athlete at Friendship Christian School and now is a member of the track team of Freed-Hardeman University in West Tennessee. He said he participated in Sherry’s Run as a first grader, but this was his first overall victory in the eight times he has entered the event.
Meyer, who was on the track team at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois, moved to Nashville about one year ago.
“It was great weather today and we were very glad to be back out here in person coming out of our ‘virtual’ year,” Race Director Scott Jasper said. “I am sure it was especially good for the teams who were running and walking to honor people with cancer.”
According to event organizers, there were 110 teams and participants from 15 states entered in the event.
Gabby Aulds, a pediatric cancer survivor from Mt. Juliet, was the 5K race honoree. The 2021 race also honored the memories of popular Lebanon photographer Al Ashworth and longtime event volunteers Wendi Welch Warren and Cathy Carey.
Sherry’s Run also came on the same day as the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A moment of silence to remember that event was held just before the start of the race. Six members of the Lebanon Fire Department walked the course while wearing their firefighting gear, crossing the finish line together to loud applause from spectators.
“The Lebanon Fire Department is always a great supporter of our organization and that was great to see them honor 9/11 like that,” Jasper said.