January 16, 2014 --
In 21 minutes and 46 seconds, 16-year-old Jawaun Stanley dashed across the rain-soaked finish line Saturday as the second annual Barney’s Run for Warriors’ overall winner.
The overall female winner was Caitlin Cainion with a time of 23:56.
Stanley and Cainion were among 130 runners helping to raise funds for a service dog that will be given to a wounded warrior from Southwest Georgia.
Stanley described his time as a little slow because he hasn’t run a 5K in a while.
“The rain had stopped so the weather wasn’t much of an issue, had a little wind in (my face), but other than that it was a great race,” Stanley, a member Lee County High School’s cross country team, said. “I liked the view, the scenery. I went from running long distances to sprints, the 400 and 800, so now I had to get back to the long run.”
Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church co-sponsored the event with Deerfield-Windsor School’s cross country team and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany provided the 5K and 1-mile fun walk/run’s venue. Barney’s Run for Warriors is Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church’s signature ministry.
Stanley characterized the race’s start and finish as its easiest parts because “it was all out.” Keeping his pace was the hardest part.
“I tried to run all out and go all out as long as I can,” Stanley said. “My best was eighteen minutes, forty-seven seconds, so this was good because I haven’t run a 5K in a while. I’m pleased with my time.”
“I wanted to run because I heard it was benefiting veterans and (I wanted to) train,” Stanley said, noting he’s run more than 20 5Ks. “It’s a privilege. Anything to do to help somebody who fought in the war, I’ll be glad to do.”
Needing a run for this month, civilian-Marine Michael Rowell finished the race in 37:30, adding another 5K to his list of about five 5Ks he’s finished. He’s trying to run a 5K every month as a fitness goal.
“I think it’s a great cause,” Rowell said. “(The warriors) come back and need some comfort and dogs are a great way to do that.”
Race organizers, retired Saint Paul’s Deacon Jim Purks, as well as veterinarians and co-chairwomen Peggy Hawkins and Lois Hunkele, talked about their passion for helping wounded warriors. They said the run’s proceeds will be given to K9s for Warriors, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., that has a facility where the dogs are trained.
“Once the conflict is over and all the warriors come home, maybe up to one fifth of them have post-traumatic stress disorder,” Purks said. “To provide a service dog, it’s like 24-hour unconditional love right by your side.
“This is a way of the community saying we won’t forget,” he added. “The veterans still have these invisible wounds long term, so this is a long-term statement of love and support.”
Hawkins and Hunkele said around $13,000 was raised from the second annual Barney’s Run for Warriors and people can still donate at the church’s website, www.stpaulsalbany.org, and may donate throughout the year.
The co-chairwomen thanked the base for providing the run’s venue.
MCLB Albany’s commanding officer, Col. Don Davis, praised the runners and walkers for helping a wounded warrior.
“It’s the wounds that you can’t see,” Davis said. “It’s easy to repair a broken arm or a broken leg, but when something is broken inside it’s a lot harder to recognize. (For) those injuries, a lot of times a dog is going to save a life.”
As Davis announced the winners in numerous male and female age categories, Purks presented trophies and medals.
Also encouraging the runners and supporting the event was retired Navy veteran Larry Barfield and his wife, Pam.
Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he received from the first Barney’s Run for Warriors a chocolate lab mix named Camo, who was rescued from an animal shelter.
“Before the dog I was so isolated and I couldn’t go into crowds, barely get out of the house,” Larry Barfield said. “Now I’m able to go to stores and shop around and it doesn’t bother me because the dog has my back.”