Earlier this month, Tammy Ozery and her son Matan, 16, approached the starting line of the Second Annual Parkland Holiday Run with hopes of a repeat performance. Last year, the two finished first in their respective age groups.
Before she laced up to defend her title, Tammy spoke about the race’s impact.
“This is a great family-oriented event,” Tammy said. “I love the chance to see my neighbors and people who grew up with my kids.”
Afterward, Tammy placed second in her age group, while Matan placed second overall.
“I like the Parkland Run in particular because I know many of the people cheering us on,” said Tammy, “not to mention, I like the hill we go over.”
This year’s event, which mostly benefited the Adventure Guides and Indian Princesses, a local charitable organization emphasizing in fathers’ spending quality time with their children on various camp-related outings, attracted about 600 participants, amassing nearly $12,000.
The success of this year’s run, however, was no surprise, or coincidence, and many were pleased with its proficient atmosphere.
“We didn’t just have people standing around holding stopwatches for the runners,” said Jonathan Brooks, the nation chief of the Adventure Guides for North Broward County.
Event organizers brought in professional timekeepers and attached microchips to each participant ensuring individualized accurate timing.
“This was a great way for runners to support area charities in a professional environment and their causes in an organized fashion,” Brooks said.
With the 5-mile route geared toward the competitive runner, the 2-mile course gave families an opportunity to show their support. The routes were mapped off and cleared with strategically placed water stations.
For Brooks, the event was “a good excuse to not have our cell phones,” he said, “and make a Sunday morning a healthy occasion.”
Each category’s winner received trophy-like mementos to commemorate the day’s success.
“There’s no reason why a family couldn’t take part in something like this,” said Brooks, who also participated in the event that began and ended at the Parkland YMCA. “It was very successful this year; we had more runners and raised more money than last year.”