Twilight 5K-10K Runs raise $15,000 for Highlands School

The Rotary Club of Highlands 5-10k Race was held last Saturday at Kelsey Hutchinson Founders Park, with over 237 racers signed up, over $15,000 was raised, with total proceeds going to the Advanced Highlands Education Committee (AHEC) to support the design and implementation for a new media center at Highlands School.

Pictured below is the start of the Highlands Twilight 5K-10K Races at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park at 2X the speed.

Race Organizer and Rotarian Derek Taylor said the race’s mission has always been to help the youth of Highlands.

“AHEC has shown its ability to have insight into the school’s current needs,” said Taylor.

He added that the turnout was great, considering COVID postponements and a gas shortage. Of the 237 signups, 149 people ran.

Racers lined up for the start of the Twilight 5K-10K Races at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park in Highlands.

Finishing First in the 5k was James Moore, a 14-year-old cross country runner from Highlands School; the 10k winner was Will Mathiodis, athletic trainer from Highlands School; overall female winner in the 5k race was Blakely Moore, and in the 10k race, overall female winner was Tracy Dockery.

10K Race Winner Will Mathiowdis. Editor’s Note: How can anyone compete against that shades/mustache combo?

This is the first year Mathiodis competed in the 10k.

“I’ve run the 5k 3 times and decided to bump up to the 10k this year,” he said. “I was lucky enough to get the win in the 10k.”

Mathiowdis added that there’s a reason he keeps coming back each year.

“The Highlands Twilight 5-10k is a great community event that raises money for organizations in Highlands,” he said. “I want to give a shout out to Derek Taylor for organizing this event every year and giving back to the Highlands community.”

Happy Birthday to Justin Powell (middle-left) who kicked off his birthday shenanigans by running in the Twilight 5K. Pictured are Justin and his friends rocking super hero poses.

5k overall female winner Blakely Moore is Highlands School Cross Country and Track Coach and had some fierce competition from some of her team.

In the middle back is Blakely Moore passing Highlands School during the Twilight 5K Race.

“Leading up to this race, my athletes and I were very competitive with one another,” said Blakely. “We all talked trash leading up to the race about who would win. I was able to beat a few but unfortunately not all of them. So great job to James [Moore] and Timmy [McDowell] for kicking so hard at the end and maintaining their lead. And to the rest of the cross country and track team for pushing themselves and doing as well as they did.”

From left are Timmy McDowell and Canty Worley cresting the hill after passing Highlands School.

Blakely added that she used to run the Twilight 5k in high school and was excited to be able to compete in it again after finishing her college running career.

“It’s such a fun event, with the music and party afterwards,” she said. “I love catching up with other runners here in Highlands and this year, watching my cross country and track team compete.”

Money raised at the Twilight Races goes to Advance Highlands Education Committee (AHEC). Pictured above is AHEC President Hillary Wilkes at the start of the Twilight Races.

Rotary Club of Highlands’ next race is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Aug. 14 and will have live music and free beer at the finish line. Editor’s Note: Need I say more?

Runners grouped up and strategized how to dominate this 5K before the race began at Founders Park.

The Twilight 5K may have been for a good cause, but the competition was fierce, things got real at the finish line.

It’s difficult to tell in a still frame pic, but this family is moving at mach speed across the finish line.

Courtney Logan runs up the hill just past Highlands School.

Town of Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor crosses the finish line at the Twilight Races.

On far left, Hudson Tilley acknowledges the camera man’s existence while running the Twilight Races.

Read about 2019’s Twilight 5K HERE.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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