The first Molly’s Miles 5K had almost 900 participants, each of them receiving a finishers medal and a long-sleeve shirt once they passed the finish line.
The event, which honors fallen law enforcement officers, started at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Boone Nifong Medical Center.
Christie Anliker, co-chair of Molly’s Miles 5K, said that when her and her husband first created the event, they were hoping for 150-200 runners to show up.
“900 runners is just phenomenal. The support of our community, the hard work of our committee; they put in hours and hours to make sure this went off without a hitch. We’re thrilled with how well it went,” Anliker said.
Molly’s Miles 5K is named in honor of Columbia Police Officer Molly Bowden. She was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2005.
Anliker said the idea to create the event came up while her and her husband, Lieutenant Buddy Anliker, also co-chair of Molly’s Miles 5K, were on a run.
“Whenever there is a death in the law enforcement community, it’s not only felt by just that family, but also by the law enforcement community as a whole,” Anliker said.
Many of the runners and volunteers were a part of law enforcement or were former law enforcement.
The 5K also features a “Memorial Mile,” which includes flags and dedicatory signs for all 668 Missouri law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Missouri Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, which provides resources to families and co-workers of fallen officers.
Anliker said that because there was such a large turnout this year, people who want to participate next year need to register as soon as they can.