Simon Kipis didn't go into Sunday's half marathon--his first race in the U.S.--expecting to win. But it didn't take long for the Kenya native to realize he was way ahead of the game.
"After two miles I knew I was alone," he said.
But even with a strong lead, it was no walk in the park.
"It's hard to run alone without someone to compete with," he added.
That's why many runners rely on pacers.
"It's good to help people reach their goals and run the pace they want," said pacer Kevin Howard.
Setting a goal helped Kerry Davies get back in shape. She started running again after having a baby 11 months ago.
"It's very meditative for me, so it just kind of let's everything else go when I'm running," she said.
In addition to the half marathon and 5K, there were two children's races--a sprint and a mile. Cammie Jones' two sons participated.
"They loved it. They love the fact they get to earn a medal, and they can work hard to finish something," she said. "My four-year-old's only complaint was it was too short, so I guess next year he gets to do the mile."
The event benefited the impression five science center. The center's director says I5 provides a hands-on learning experience--one kids don't always get in the classroom.
Whether playing with bubbles or listening to music, runners and their supporters took the opportunity to wind down after the race.
Organizers say the goal is to eventually get around 6,000 participants.