Recreation

Road races can bring out competitiveness

HS journalism: Brannaman family enjoys 'running' Mount Vernon Heritage Days 5K

The Gazette
The Gazette

MOUNT VERNON — Not all people love running, but everyone can enjoy competition.

This is why the Brannaman family volunteers for Mount Vernon’s Heritage Days 5K, a “town celebration of everything Mount Vernon.”

“It’s a great way to give back to a community we love,” organizer Ben Brannaman said.

Brannaman became involved with the race after moving back from college. Nine years later, he continues to supervise the event alongside his mother, Denise, and brother, Alex.

“The whole family works together and makes it happen,” Denise said.

The Brannaman family gives time and energy to this event, and dozens of runners give $20 to participate. What makes this run more valuable than a run through the neighborhood?

Competition

The thrill of competition can push participants through the hilly terrain of Mount Vernon and produce some outstanding times. Randy Brecht, 58, finished in 20 minutes, 59 seconds and Brick Kabela, 13, now owns a time of 21:26 after Saturday’s race.

Competitive spirit, it seems. burns in new and seasoned racers.

This kind of motivation can’t be found on a treadmill. Watching an indomitable odometer increase at its excruciatingly slow pace can’t beat passing a good runner.

The distinction between physical exertion and competition is the mental element competition brings. And although this difference can be small, it can yield more encouragement.

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Mere running can seem fruitless to some for a long time, but a big enough race provides countless goals that run right beside you.

Races, like the Heritage Days 5K, are masters of dangling the carrot that is success. They balance persistence with reward, and the sense of achievement is strong and can linger. This creates a love for the sport.

This love of the sport has kept Ben Brannaman volunteering for nine years alongside his family and has kept runners coming back to the Mount Vernon Heritage Days 5K for more than 30 years.

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