Runners Race In All 34 Medical Center 10Ks

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Rain didn't keep runners from coming together on Western Kentucky University's campus for the 34th Annual Medical Center 10K Classic.

Bob Napier crossed the starting line of the 10K for the 34th time Saturday morning.

He has raced in every one the 10Ks.

"You see people you know every year, so it was just easy. I kept running and they kept having the race," Napier said.

He said he started running for health reasons a year before the race started when he was 28.

Napier said he once ran it in 36 minutes, and even though he's slowed down a bit, he still enjoys it.

"It's still hard to do and you sweat and stuff, so you think you're running hard even though your times don't show it anymore," he said.

He didn't know he would make friends like Johnny Johnson, who also has run all the 10Ks.

"I just started running -- couldn't even run a mile and a half. Some lady was running in my neighborhood and she said, 'Hey, are you going to run the race?' I said, 'What race?' She said the 10K. That's back when I was 18 or 19 years old," Johnson said.

Both of them said making the decision to start running changed their lives.

Napier said he's healthier now than he would have been without the physical challenge running gives him.

"I became healthy, started eating better -- it's a good lifestyle."

Johnson met his wife through running.

"Her and I finished pretty close today. I passed her at the end though."

Both Napier and Johnson know how important physical activity is to the body and said everyone needs to stay active.

"I enjoy running. So almost every day, it's not hard for me to go out and run, because I know I'm going to enjoy it. So if you find something you enjoy, it makes exercise a whole lot easier."

Today, Napier and Johnson ran most of the race together, and finished under Napier's 50-minute goal.

Organizers said about 2,400 people participated in Saturday's race -- which is more than last year.

The goal of the race is to encourage the community to get active and to live healthy lifestyles.

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