St. Januarius Church in Naples recently hosted nearly 400 people who were interested in improving their own health and fitness while at the same time raising money for a good cause.
More than 380 people completed the inaugural St. J’s 5K Run and Walk, according to St. Januarius parishioner Joaquin Aymerich, organizer of the event. The 5K was held April 28, and proceeds from the event will benefit the Naples Ambulance Service. Aymerich said the planning committee was still totaling the proceeds, but the amount of money going to the ambulance service “is going to be substantial.”
Aymerich said he was overwhelmed by the community’s show of support for the 5K and the interest from runners and walkers in Naples and throughout the state.
“We were initially hoping to get about 125 (entrants), which would have been a great turnout, we thought,” Aymerich said.
The community enthusiastically embraced the event, and the Naples Central School District was especially supportive, he noted. The Naples Teachers Association and the Naples School CSEA union each encouraged their members to participate, and one physical-education teacher at Naples High School even offered extra credit to students who participated.
Many seasoned 5K participants were surprised by the large number of teens and children who participated in the St. J’s 5K, many of whom walked or ran with their parents, he added.
The St. J’s 5K was professionally timed by PCR Timing, and the race results may be viewed at www.pcrtiming.com.