GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The streets of downtown Gulfport were flooded with red Friday evening as runners and walkers broke out their best crimson attire in support of the American Heart Association.
Nearly 300 runners took off from the start line, with one goal; to keep moving and finish the race.
"Anything for health, anything. We all should be moving. It can be at any speed. It can be slow, it can be fast, we just have to move," runner Teresa D'Angelo said.
Not only did the run allow folks to show personality through their best red threads, but Stephanie Chastain, who is with the American Heart Association, says it is also a way to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke, because they are the top killers of Americans and South Mississippians.
"Raising awareness about physical fitness, nutrition and just living a healthier life is what we're here to do today, and it's exciting," Chastain said.
Runners and walkers, young and old, were definitely impressive with their wardrobe selections. Many were in support of the American Heart Association. Others, like Long Beach resident Tish Fleming, were running for other causes.
"We're walking for Cameron Katrell. He's having open heart surgery on Monday. It's important because he's had heart problems his whole life, multiple surgeries, and you know it's a good cause. We're here supporting him," Fleming said.
Runners say they were excited to be a part of the second annual WLOX 5K, and to have the opportunity to run for their hearts.
Devin Berthelson came in first for the men with a time of 19 minutes and two seconds. Barbie Lugo came in first place for the women ending the run with a time of 24 minutes and five seconds.