By Sarah Rafique
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - When Temple resident Tom Rogers hits a wall or gets tired while running in races, he thinks, "Dad, help me out here."
Rogers, whose father was a state champion runner in high school in Arkansas, took second place in the 60 to 64 age range during Saturday's Summer Fun Run 5K.
More than 100 residents participated in the race, which is one of 15 in the Centex Race Series.
Betty Price, president of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, said participation this year increased by about 30 people.
Mariela Langshaw, of Killeen, participated in her first race this year as a way to stay in shape and felt a sense of accomplishment when she crossed the finish line.
"I wasn't expecting to place," said Langshaw, as her second-place medal for the 45 to 49 age group hung around her neck. "This is something I did just to test myself and see if I can do it."
Her friend, Kimberly Green, of Killeen, placed first in the 45 to 49 age group.
Green has been running in the race series for four years, but placed for the first time Saturday.
She said she constantly sets new goals for herself and aims to improve her time. When she first started, it took her 48 minutes to run a 5K. She cut that time by 12 minutes.
"Now I can run the whole thing," she said. "I didn't use to be able to do that."
Rogers also continually tries to improve his time.
"My main competition is to do better in today's race than I did in previous races," he said.
He ran his first race last year with his son and granddaughter and enjoyed it so much he continued racing.
Although he has been active all his life, Rogers said there is a difference between jogging a few miles at a slow pace and actually running.
"Once I get a pace going, the mechanics of running go away and it lets your mind think of other things," he said. "It's fun to have a goal and to work towards that goal."
Contact Sarah Rafique at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7549.