“On your mark, get set…go!” These words ushered in the eighth annual Arbor Day Run, which took place on Saturday, April 6. The first runners to cross a finish line were not seasoned veterans but children taking part in the Kids’ 100-Yard Dash. Their young age did nothing to diminish their fervor—as runners raced from ladybug to bumblebee balloon, small faces were set in fierce determination. One five-year-old confided, “I’ve been training for this race all week.”
In all, the 2013 Arbor Day Run was attended by over 70 running enthusiasts, most of whom took part in a 5K race traversing the Arboretum’s scenic meadow and woodland trails. Courtney Leigh was the overall champion of the 5K at just over 22 minutes. Microchip timing was provided by Bluepoint Race Timing and Management.
Many families enjoyed a more leisurely one-mile Fun Run, followed by refreshments and the 5K awards ceremony. In keeping with the Arboretum’s mission of environmental stewardship, awards were hand-crafted from slices of invasive Tree of Heaven. 5K runners also received sweetbay magnolia saplings, the Arboretum’s Native Tree of the Year, in honor of Arbor Day.
The Arbor Day Run was sponsored in part by Judge Anthony, Consulting Arborist, and Julio Ramirez, a pediatrician practicing in Centreville and Chestertown.
by Jenny Houghton
Youth Program Coordinator and Race Director