Woods, Larking run River City 5K

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Freshman Caroline Woods shows off the trophy she won Saturday at the River City 5K.

Freshman Caroline Woods shows off the trophy she won Saturday at the River City 5K.

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Photo Contributed

Freshman Caroline Woods shows off the trophy she won Saturday at the River City 5K.

Autumn Turpin, Editor

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During the Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend Freshman Caroline Woods and English Teacher Michelle Larking participated in the River City 5K in downtown Danville.

Runners had to endure the unseasonably chilly September air and cool rain throughout the event, with Larking pushing past the competition and bad weather to finish first in her age group.

Cross Country Coach Mark Bryant praised Larking for also running the fastest 5K time of any female Galileo teacher.

“Last year I finished second and I wanted to improve this year. The race was very similar to the one that I had run previously and my goal is to get under thirty minutes before I turn 50,” Larking said. “I get closer to that every year. This time I finished 32 minutes and 51 seconds, so I’m getting closer but I’m still not there. It was really just a challenge to beat that time. I love how everyone that participates in the races supports each other, and everyone is just so encouraging.”

Woods completed the 3.1 mile run in exactly 25 minutes, nearly two minutes better than her time at Wednesday’s race at Altavista and roughly three minutes better than her first race at Dan Daniel Park in August.

“I’m super happy about the time I got on the 5k, running the race was just extra practice for cross country,” Woods said. “It was my first real road race; it wasn’t really like any of my cross country races and it was just really fun.”

Woods’ success continued last night when the team traveled to Edmonds Park in Halifax and she finished in the top ten.

“Her biggest strength is her determination and her toughness. She is dedicated and willing to push herself to do the hard stuff,” Bryant said of the first-year runner. “She is testing her limits as far how fast she can run and she is closing the gap between her and the best runners in the district very quickly. She is going to catch them.”

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Woods, Larking run River City 5K