A very successful event on Veterans Day seeing runners lacing up and crossing the finish line at the Midpoint Bridge 5K.
Racers like Joshua Dorsey were amped up and ready to go when they got to the bridge.
“I’m trying to win. But if I can do like 18 or something, I’d be happy with that,” Dorsey said.
Over racers like Sandra Duvemesserich, have made the race almost a tradition, going year after year.
“I’ve run many, but it could be fifth or sixth. I don’t even keep track anymore,” Duvemesserich said.
The bridge was closed from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. but has since reopened. Fort Myers YMCA of Southwest Florida was at the event getting everything ready.
The 5K started at 7 p.m. and WINK News spoke with the associate executive director, Suzie Starks, who explained participants should start getting to the area around 5:30 to 6 p.m.
But, Starks also made a point of emphasis on how important the race was this year.
“To have something for our community to do together, too, you know, have some normalcy, it was a little up and down, if we were even going to be able to do the race, leading up to it with some, you know, the lights were broken and things like that,” Starks said. “So we just think it’s really important, especially this year, to have something for the community to come together.”
And, participants like Michael Azza, and so many others, saw and understood what lay at the heart of the entire event.
“It’s because we have the freedoms that we do, we are able to make the choices and the decisions and live the lives that we do because of these veterans,” Azza said. “So it’s think of veteran today all day long. I’ve seen many of them and it’s just you shake their hand and you say to them, thank you for what we have.”
“it’s good to have a day of just giving thanks back to them because, you know, they write that blink check with their lives. So yeah, happy to support something like that,” Dorsey said.
Starks explained the funds raised on Veterans Day will go back to their scholarship funds over at the YMCA of Southwest Florida for kids and seniors.
WINK News spoke with Patrick Messerich, a veteran, asking what supporting and honoring veterans meant to him.
“Always a good feeling. You know, everybody’s interested in things and I think it’s good that people are willing to acknowledge it. Yeah. getting less and less popular,” Messerich said.