(Photo by Nichole Perez)
WACO (September 14, 2013) -- Organizations from Baylor joined to host the first Wounded Veterans 5K run Saturday.
The six months of planning was done by the Veterans of Baylor, Air Force ROTC of Baylor and the Army ROTC of Baylor.
None of the organizers had ever planned for an event like this before and say it was stressful, but worth it.
The idea came from other Air Force ROTC units across the nation who host events like this every year.
"They raise a good amount of money towards the Wounded Warrior Project every year so I thought it would be good for something we could start here in Waco," says race director Nicole Powers.
Up until two weeks ago the run only had 40 registrants which left organizers worried there wouldn't be a good turn out.
More than 200 runners turned out Saturday morning to participate so organizers minds were put at ease.
Powers says, "I was really worried about how that would turn out but everyone seemed really happy and it seemed to pan out pretty well."
All proceeds for the event go to the Wounded Warrior Project and the run today raised about three thousand dollars.
Some runners drove an hour to race including 13-year Army veteran Chauncey Raiden of Killeen.
"I'm a soldier myself. I've been to combat four times. I've had soldiers that have been injured and killed. So I do it to remember them and just for the soldiers that are working to try to get back to a normal life," he said.
His wife Lisa is the one who found out about the race and signed up every member of her family.
She comes from a military background and says this run was an emotional experience for her.
"It was beautiful. The scenery really made you just think about why you were here. I got up to the dam and just looked over the water and I just started crying," she said.
Runners even formed teams to run with like the Providence Rehab Service group who brought 11 runners to the event.
Organizers plan on making this an annual event so the community doesn't forget about their wounded warriors.
"The little events nationwide like this will go into that every year and help the big picture and help our wounded warriors when they get back and they're injured and need our assistance," says Powers.