With the impending After Dark 8K upon Cookeville, the Golden Eagle soccer team took to the streets of town Saturday to help prepare for the third annual night race meant to benefit Dogwood Park.
The team arrived on the scene just following their second training session of the day at around 6 p.m. to help literally light the way for runners. They helped with setting out the luminaries that lined the figure eight of downtown Dixie Avenue, and stayed on afterwards to have a little bit of “informal training” on the town.
Just prior to the 8K, the children of Cookeville are given the opportunity to race in the one mile “fun run,” which takes place on a closed portion of Dixie avenue. When Freeze street began to flood with children at about 7:10p.m., the soccer team followed suit, clapping, cheering and jumping right into the middle of the pack to race in the fun run with some of their youngest fans.
At the starting line, seniors Brooke Mayo and Michelle Decker led the entire group in stretches and jumping jacks in preparation for the race, to pass the “wait time” before the gunshot sounding the commencement of the run.
With the two minute warning came the cheers of T-T-U, as Mayo and Decker taught the group some of their favorite Tech chants to get them pumped for the run. When the gun sounded, the energy of the runners was overwhelming as they gave 100% at the jump off the line.
“We’re right in the middle of pre-season right now, we’ve been going for a couple of days, working really hard with two-a-days, so it’s kind of nice to have a break and get out here and help our community a little bit,” said Mayo. “We’ve been pretty active in the past, but this is something that we haven’t been involved with before.
“We’re all really excited to get in a group with all the kids and help them run, it’s pretty cool,” she finished.
Click below to hear head coach Daniel Brizard's remarks on the afternoon and see footage of the team at the start of the race.