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Butterflies and Bridges run benefits athletics programs

Jon Graham, from Birmingham, leads the field over the Edmund Pettus Bridge during Saturday’s Butterflies and Bridges run. Graham finished first in Saturday’s 8K with a time of 34:27 and won a $100 cash prize.  The run raised around $4,000 for the Selma City Schools Athletics Department.--Daniel Evans

Jon Graham, from Birmingham, leads the field over the Edmund Pettus Bridge during Saturday’s Butterflies and Bridges run. Graham finished first in Saturday’s 8K with a time of 34:27 and won a $100 cash prize. The run raised around $4,000 for the Selma City Schools Athletics Department.–Daniel Evans

Around 150 participants took part in Saturday’s Butterflies and Bridges run, jogging through Selma’s downtown and testing their will on the demanding slope of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

The run — which included an 8K and a 2-mile fun run — raised around $4,000 to give to the Selma City Schools Athletics Department. “It helps us be able to continue to operate for this summer and to be able to offer some of our kids an opportunity to go to summer camp as well as send some of our coaches to some camps,” Selma City Schools Athletic Director Patrick Evans said.

Evans said a lot of runners come back every year just to support the event, something he is very thankful for. This year the field of participants had a lot new faces.

“We’ve had runners and walkers from just about all over the state this year and some from out of state, so it is really getting to be an exciting event and we are looking forward to it every year,” Evans said.

Jon Graham set the pace, winning $100 for being the fastest male finisher in the 8K with a time of 34:27. Graham, from Birmingham, ran in the event to support the Selma community and his wife Ryan, who is from Selma.

“It’s a great course,” Graham said. “It’s flat, which is always nice. Getting a chance to run over the bridge was fun, but it was difficult. A little elevation on the bridge, so a nice little test coming over it and going back.”

Even the bridge couldn’t slow Graham, who set a blistering pace and separated himself from the field. Robin Jordan was the fastest finishing female in the 8K and also won $100 with a time of 38:49.

The second place male finisher was Britt Mott and third was Taylor Jones. Karen Bell-Rutledge was the second female to finish, followed shortly after by third place Ann McLendon.