COPPERAS COVE — It’s fitting that Noel Watson prefers to run for fun, because the 33-year-old Cove resident finished first in Saturday’s sixth annual Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce Summer Fun Run to 5k.
Watson completed the race that began and ended at South Park in 17 minutes, 46.7 seconds.
“I run with a group of guys every week to train for this,” Watson said. “We run together. It’s lots of fun and the camaraderie is awesome. I run with a great group of guys.”
Watson has competed in the Cen-Tex Race Series for the last three or four years and managed to place well.
“I usually finish in the top two,” he said. “But everyone that runs these works really hard and we all enjoy it.”
Cove’s Leonard Kim and Killeen native Jeff Vancuran rounded out the top three finishers.
Betty Price, president of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, said more than 200 runners, joggers and speed-walkers registered across 14 divisions that spanned several age groups — from 11 and younger to 70 and older.
“It’s perfect weather today,” Price said. “The sun is being blocked by the clouds and there’s a really beautifully cool breeze. It’s just fantastic weather to run in.”
Kiki Anderson, a 29-year-old mother, said she enjoys running for fun in the morning.
“It’s so much easier on you and your body when you run early in the morning like this,” she said.
It also helps to start early in the hotter months, she said. “The weather is much kinder.”
Anderson finished in less than 35 minutes, and managed to keep her 8-month-old son, Gavin, asleep in his stroller.
“I’m here to get back to where I was before I had my baby,” Anderson said. “I used to run a lot more, but had to slow down because of him — so my time dropped. But I’m ready to go now.”
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