Supporting soldiers: Baylor hosts first 5K run for Waco veterans

WW 5k FTWBy Trey Gregory

Baylor’s Air Force and Army ROTC detachments and Veterans of Baylor will host the first Waco Wounded Veterans 5K Run at 8 a.m. on Saturday at the Lake Waco Dam.

The cost to register is $30 for civilians and $25 for students, veterans and active military. Online registration is open until midnight on Thursday. Day-of Registration will be available as well.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Nicole Powers, who began planning the race last April, said she had two goals in mind: to raise as much money to the Wounded Warrior Project as possible, and to start a tradition that will last years after she leaves Baylor.

“Supporting veterans and running are my two biggest passions,” Powers said. “I wanted a way to help wounded veterans and engage Baylor’s ROTC program with the local community at the same time. A charitable run just made sense.”

In order to achieve these goals, Powers contacted the Veterans of Baylor for help planning the run.

New Orleans sophomore Mitchell Groke, a 26-year-old Navy veteran, said he thought Powers had a great idea and wanted to help in any way possible.

“We want to start something special,” Groke said. “If this race is successful, it could become a great way for Baylor and Waco to give back to wounded veterans for years to come.”

All proceeds from the race will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit charity whose mission is “to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”

The Wounded Warrior Project “serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after Sept. 11, 2001 and their families,” according to the organization’s website.

Direct donations can be made online or in person at the race.

The race, which starts and ends at the Lake Waco Dam on Skeet Eason Road, is 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles long. Powers said she hopes a lot of people will show up to support the event, even if they are not interested in running.

“Walkers are welcome,” Powers said. “The purpose of this event is to bring the community together while helping wounded veterans. The race is just for fun. We hope people come to walk too, or just show up to cheer for the runners and show support for the cause.”

Runners will compete in categories according to gender and age groups.

Runners who place first, second and third in their age groups will receive a medal and a gift certificate to Skirt Sports for females and Academy for males.

All registered participants will receive a T-shirt at the end of the race.

Water and fruit will be provided to participants.

More information and last minute updates about the race can be found online at

Direct donations to the Wounded Warrior Project can be made through their website at