Close to 400 participants of all ages lined up behind Metroplex Hospital on Sunday morning as they eagerly awaited the signal to start the 31st annual Silver Classic.

The race included a 5K run and a 3K walk, and all of the money raised from registration fees goes to support various community wellness programs in and around the Killeen area.

“Our mission is to extend the healing ministry of Christ, not just in the hospital but in the community, as well,” Mextroplex public relations specialist Erin Spencer said. “All the money raised goes to help our wellness initiatives like health screenings and immunization clinics for children.”

Registration was $20 per runner, and the event drew racers from all over. One Maine native stationed at Fort Hood said he has been running the Silver Classic for four years.

“I started racing about four years ago to stay in shape for the Army, and this was one of the first races I ran, and I’ve been running it each year since,” Darryl Rideout said. “This is also usually one of the first races I run each year, and it gets me prepared to run the other races.”

Rideout’s stepbrother, Manny Urquilla, came from Kansas City, Mo., to support him during the race.

“I was coming down here to visit family and look into moving down here, and then Darryl told me he was running in a race today, and I thought, ‘Let me go cheer him on.’”

Military personnel were not the only people to run in the Silver Classic, however. Because the event funds many different wellness programs, many hospital employees participate in the race each year.

“I’ve been here several years in the past to say the prayer, but this is the first year I actually participated,” said Jaime Guajardo, director of pastoral services for Metroplex. “This is a great event. This year we had a team walk the track. I’d like to participate next year, too, and hopefully get a bigger team out there.”

When all of the runners finished their laps of the track, the event organizers handed out trophies to the fastest male and female runners and walkers, as well as first-, second- and third-place trophies in each age bracket.

Camille McCue received the award for fastest overall female in the runner category, and Jorge Diego Rivera Moyet was the fastest male.

Astrid Walton took home the trophy for fastest overall female in the walker category, and John Warnes was the fastest male.

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