Running for Veterans: Destin's 2nd Annual Veteran's Day 5K

Savannah Vasquez

The 2nd Annual Destin Veteran’s Day 5K was a huge success this past Saturday at the American Legion Post 296. More than 150 runners and walkers came out to the event including a few four-legged friends. The race supported local veteran’s as proceeds went to charities Team Red White and Blue and Building Homes for Heroes.

“We had a great race, I can’t imagine a better day it was just absolutely perfect,” said Race Coordinator Ron Sandstead. “Our volunteers did a wonderful job. It was a nice turn out, and we increased by 50 runners over last year.”

The day started out early as runners arrived before 7 a.m. for check in. Booths set up with information about the sponsored charities and a some local health services kept participants entertained while awaiting the starting pistol.

Before the race got underway Destin mayor Mel Ponder blessed the race and American Legion member and city councilman Cyron Marler sang the National Anthem.

Morale was high as the runners took their marks as spectators cheered on the crowd of runners with cow bells and American flags as they took off up Main Street.

First place overall male went to Cristian Vasquez with a time of 19:12. This was the first competitive race for Vasquez.

First place overall female went to Delaney Cookman with a time of 22:51. Cookman is a member of the cross country team at Destin Middle School.

Prizes of commemorative dog tags were also awarded to the first through third place finishers for each age group spanning from under 10 years old to 79 year old runners.

After the race everyone enjoyed the after party with food and beverages donated by local restaurants and a fun $1 raffle.

For more information about next year’s Veteran’s Day race search Destin Vets Day 5K on Facebook.