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Run to Remember downtown Brookhaven Saturday — 5K, 10K benefit Wounded Warriors

He meets with them on Wednesdays and Saturdays, early, to run.

Tim Cunningham, a 41-year-old physical therapist from Brookhaven, got into running in college, ran hard during his medical schooling, but fell out of the sport when he started a family. Now, the kids are almost teenagers, and he’s back on the road, sneakers laced tight as the asphalt miles roll up underneath him. He’s part of a group of Brookhaven men who run together twice a week, challenging themselves against personal bests and joking they are “the fastest Sunday school class at Easthaven Baptist Church.”

“We tried to get that in the church bulletin,” Cunningham said. “But they wouldn’t put it in there.”

Cunningham will be on the streets Saturday morning, competing against himself and more than 130 other runners from around the state and region in the Run to Remember, a Memorial Day foot race that will raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. The race begins at 8 a.m. on Whitworth Avenue near the Military Memorial Museum, and will allow runners — and walkers — to compete in both a 5K and 10K race around downtown Brookhaven.

Registration is $30 and can be completed online at runolebrook.com until 7 p.m. Friday. On-site registration on race day begins at 7 a.m. and is $35, with registration fees covering an event T-shirt and finisher medal. All other proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit veterans’ organization.

“We just want to honor all our military, those who are serving now and certainly those who have given their lives in defending our freedom,” said race organizer Steven McMorris.

The 5K and 10K races run concurrently, with the 10K course splitting off and rejoining the main 5K track a few times throughout the race, which is expected to last about 90 minutes. There will be serious runners like Cunningham, but McMorris said no one should be afraid to enter the race and support the cause.

“We take everybody. If you don’t think you can run it, register as a walker and just walk the race,” he said. “We have people who are avid runners and we have people who just want to get out there and have a good time.”

All race finishers will be awarded a finisher medal, and the overall winners and the top three finishers in each group will also receive recognition and a small prize. A mile-long kids race will follow the main event, and a finish line after party will be held when all the running is done.

The Run to Remember is the second of five planned foot races in the 2018 Ole Brook Run Series being hosted by McMorris’ company, Defining Moment Events LLC. The first race was the Cupid Shuffle in February — also scheduled for the year are the Splash Dash July 21, where runners will get wet at splash stations along the course; the Halloween Trick-or-Treat Trot and the Christmastime Run Run Rudolph race, which will also feature a branch-off 10K.

All five races will be run around downtown Brookhaven.

“We wanted to produce events that will bring people to Brookhaven,” McMorris said. “We feel like we’ve got a beautiful city and it’s worth showing off.”