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Hundreds take part in Integrity Worldwide 5K

Hundreds took part in Saturday’s Integrity Wordwide 5K and 1-mile fun run at Bloch Park.  All proceeds from the event will help fund Integrity Worldwide’s expanding-water projects in the villages surrounding Meto, Kenya.  Around 300 people registered for the runs, which was one of the biggest 5K runs the organization has had held. (Daniel Evans | Times-Journal)

Hundreds took part in Saturday’s Integrity Wordwide 5K and 1-mile fun run at Bloch Park. All proceeds from the event will help fund Integrity Worldwide’s expanding-water projects in the villages surrounding Meto, Kenya. Around 300 people registered for the runs, which was one of the biggest 5K runs the organization has had held. (Daniel Evans | Times-Journal)

By participating in Saturday’s Integrity Worldwide 5K and 1-mile fun run, hundreds of runners helped people thousands of miles away.

The non-profit, Christian-based ministry is dedicated to helping those in need in other parts of the world. In recent years, Integrity Worldwide has already had its presence felt in Meto, Kenya and Saturday’s run, which featured around 300 registered runners, will only help them provide even more.

“It really does warm our hearts to see this many people passionate about what we are passionate about and care about the same things,” said Ashley Johnson, interim executive director of Integrity Worldwide.

The proceeds from Saturday’s runs will be used to fund expanding water projects in the villages surrounding Meto.

“We do a lot of things [over there], but the real need is water,” Johnson said. “Throughout the planning of this 5K, the word water kept coming up everywhere we looked.”

Johnson said many of the villagers walk 20 miles each day to get water, a task that takes about one third of their day.

“It’s a cool partnership because when we are there they pray for us, and when we are here, we pray for them,” Integrity Worldwide board member Emery Hicks said.

Jon Graham ran the fastest time in Saturday’s 5K with a time of 19:57, a time that he said was a new personal best. Sam Brackin ran the fastest time in the 1-mile fun run with a time of 6:47.

Awards were given out to runners in the following age groups in the 5K: 12-and-under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60 and above. Awards were also given out to the fastest runners under 14 and and those 14 and over in the fun run.

There was also plenty to do for those that decided not to partake in the run. There was live music, popcorn, cotton candy, a selfie station and more.

With the run growing every year, Integrity is already looking ahead to next year.

“We are praying about where the direction of the race is going to take us next. We see a lot of potential for new opportunities and new ideas that are in the works,” Johnson said.