The 2020 edition of the Over My Head 5K concluded this weekend in a virtual fashion. While the sixth annual event was not held in person due to the spread of COVID-19, the local 5K run and walk was still a success.
This year's event, which featured the usual 5K and half-mile fun run for the kids, had 223 participants. 150 runners and walkers completed the 3.1-mile race and submitted their race results. In the 5K event, the youngest competitor was eight years old, while the oldest participant was 72 years old.
More importantly, the race raised money and awareness for the Over My Head Homeless Shelter, a ten-bed home for men and women that need a short stay to transition into the next stage of their lives. Over My Head provides its residents with food and shelter, but the shelter also assists them with finding a job and another place to stay.
Since the race could not be held in person, runners and walkers could complete their 3.1-mile race anywhere in the United States and then submit it to the race website. In fact, athletes from four different states -- Kentucky, Connecticut, Louisiana, and North Carolina -- participated in the sixth annual run and walk.
Gordon Turner, the race director for the Over My Head 5K, was nervous about the number of folks who would participate in a virtual race. Despite having to move the race to a virtual event, there were still over 200 people who signed up for the race.
"We really hoped to have an event this year, but due to the hand we were all dealt, going virtual was our best option," Turner explained. "Going virtual was definitely an unknown, I wondered how many would sign up. How many would participate? Then the numbers started coming in and people began to register. I thought if we hit 200, I will be ecstatic. We hit that and a few more, topping out at 223."
Aiden Tucker, an 18-year-old male from McCreary County, ran the fastest time out of all the race participants. Tucker's winning time was 18:19.
The youth movement continued at the front, as the second and third place positions went to a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old, respectively. Nathanael Turner came home in the runner-up spot with a time of 18:53, while Alex Bryant grabbed the bronze medal with a clocking of 18:56.
Jeff Golden, age 51 of Somerset, finished in the fourth position with a time of 19:45. With a time of 20:09, Somerset's Nathan Frey rounded out the top five.
Tabitha Bell, age 46, was the top female finisher in the race. Bell, who finished 17th overall, covered 3.1 miles in a time of 23:16.
All participants in the event received ten points in the individual standings for the Lake Cumberland Run/Walk Series Powered by Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. Teams battling for the 2020 team championship all received a ten-point bonus to go towards the series' team competition.
Turner wanted to thank all of the race participants and sponsors for making the 2020 edition of the Over My Head 5K a success.
"I want to say thank you to everyone that signed up and donated to Over My Head Somerset," Turner said. "I want to say thank you to our sponsors: Sheriff Greg Speck, Lake Cumberland Real Estate Professionals, Citizens National Bank, First Southern National Bank, Commercial Printing, Litho Craft, Line X of Somerset and London, Somerset Spine and Performance, Arden E. Turner CPA, American Screen Printing, GT Races, and the Lake Cumberland Run Walk Series."
Next year's Over My Head 5K race will take place on Saturday, June 5, 2021.
The next two races in the series -- the Cool Run at Midnight and the Mud Mayhem -- have both been canceled for 2020. The Pack the Pantry Four-Mile Relay Race, scheduled for August 1st, is the next race in the series. Race officials will wait until after the first of July to make a final decision on whether to hold the race or not.