JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Nearly 1,000 runners and walkers warmed up early Saturday morning to get ready for the Ingalls 5k on the Causeway.
"This our fourth annual 5k and the idea came so we could promote health and wellness among our employees, and branch off into the community," shipbuilder and organizer Wendy Gruich said.
Along with encouraging a healthy workforce, the race is also a fundraiser to support the Special Olympics of Mississippi.
"They have been our partners from the beginning," said Vice President of Human Resources & Administration Edmond Hughes.
The shipbuilders were not the only group working up a sweat. Gulf Coast participants of all ages were also dedicated to the cause.
"These are the Kessler Air Force Base Cadence Runners; they are very special and we have been trying to get them here for the last four years. They're a big supporter of Special Olympics. As you know, Kessler Air Force Base hosts the summer games for the Special Olympics every year," said Gruich.
Runners and walkers raised $15,000 and as a way to say thank you, each of them received a personalized award from the Special Olympics.
"The athletes actually paint these medals, and the athletes will give the participants the medals as they cross the finish line," said Hughes.
In four years, Ingalls has raised more than $40,000 for the Special Olympics of Mississippi.