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Ashley Lowery, Deseret News
Kandi Orchard, left, and her niece Alexandra Kennedy, right, run during the Days of '47 5K fitness walk along 200 East in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

No times are kept in the Deseret News 5K Future Walk, because this event is held mainly for fun and gives families the opportunity to participate together. No competition here?

Well, don't mention that too loud, as families line up at EnergySolutions Arena starting line and prepare to walk the 5K course to Liberty Park. Walking is also a misnomer to most who signed up for this event.

"We are competitive," said Jennifer Whiting, 20, who was preparing to run with twin sisters Jill and Joni, 14 and her mother, Kathy. Along for the ride in the stroller was nephew Kody Lowell, who was born with birth defects in his knees and was the main reason for this family outing.

"Last year we told him that we won," said Jennifer, "and he told everyone that we won and we didn't even come close."

And that is the spirit of this event.

And who did win? No one knows for sure. David Knighton of South Jordan crossed the finish line at 26 minutes and 40 seconds by his own timing and the announcer thought he was the first 5k finisher, but in the melee of the 10K runners and the Marathon runners it was hard to tell.

Was he competitive?

"My wife is somewhere back there," he said, obviously not opting to run by her side.

But overall, most were there for the fun of it. Grant and Nancy Ross made it a family affair this year after eight years of running by themselves. Son Steve with wife Carrie pushed four month old Wrigley in a stroller. Joining them were daughters Rachel Schmalz and Kristy Wright with Wright bringing perhaps the youngest baby in the field, Ethan, who was born on May 20 of this year.

"I'm just trying to get back in shape." Wright said.

Judith Nielsen and Kathryn Nielsen ran with five daughters, Lauren, Brianna, Riley, Brooke and Britany. Husbands David and Kris ran in the marathon, prompting Judith to say, "Since they woke us up anyway, we decided to do the 5K."

Kathryn and her family came all the way from San Antonio, Texas. Judith's family lives in the Millcreek area. Judith observed, "The crowd cheers just as much for the 5K runners."

Indeed the crowd was vocal.

Brenda Smith, lead organizer of the 5K explained why this event was called the 5K Future Walk.

"This is essentially for the kids," said Smith, "We want them to know they are the future."

She said there are many families registered for this event with some kids as young as two years old. One family registered 12 members who would participate together. The babies in strollers were not counted as registering.

On the higher end of the age spectrum was Robert Bingham, who was being pushed in a wheelchair by his daughter Heidi Lloyd.

"He had a stroke a couple of years ago," said Lloyd. But she and her mother, Ilene, honor him in this event because he used to be so actively involved in coaching his daughters.

"He wasn't a coach, coach," clarified Ilene. "He was more like a personal trainer."

Lloyd added, "He coached my sister to a state championship in high school." The sister was participating in the 10K.

And that is essentially the purpose of the 5K. To provide an opportunity for all the family members to participate at some level and meet together at the same finish line in Liberty Park.

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