Woodway hosts 5K, 10K to benefit police

Photo credit: Liesje Powers

Megan Rule | Staff Writer

The Woodway Youth Commission and Waco Striders are working together to put on the Bound for the Brave 5K and 10K race Saturday, with all proceeds to be donated to the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation.

“The purpose of this race is to show support for the many sacrifices law enforcement officers make, including the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the safety of their community,” Khalil El-Halabi, training sergeant and supervisor over community events held by the Woodway Public Safety Department wrote in an email to the Lariat. “It is to ensure the families left behind are not forgotten and are assisted during a devastating time.”

This is the sixth annual Bound for the Brave race. Every year, the race benefits the families of fallen police officers through the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation. El-Halabi said the race requires a team effort to put on.

The annual event began when the public Safety director, Chief Yost Zakhary, saw a need to assist families of fallen officers in Texas. Zakhary has since made assistance a reality. El-Halabi said more than $40,000 has been raised in the past five years of the race. This race is a way to help promote healthy living and show support for local law enforcement, according to the race registration website.

“It’s always humbling to see the people we serve come out and support this great cause,” El-Halabi said.

Waco Striders is a group that welcomes runners and walkers of any fitness level, according to their website. Membership includes various perks such as weekly group runs, support programs, support social events, liability insurance and discounts at Bicycle World Waco.

Waco Striders has been involved with Bound for the Brave since the inaugural race. Mitch Deskins, race coordinator for the Waco Striders, said the group times the race, at no charge and helps with race logistics. Deskins said high school students volunteer at the event. Waco Striders works behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly at the race from setting the course up to getting every runner registered.

“I’m excited just for the cause of it, and I’m excited that the youth commission can make it happen, but I’m more excited for the cause,” Deskins said. “Woodway is an awesome community. We do a lot of running in Woodway. They’re always accommodating for us. It’s a way to pay them back – not just the fallen officers, but the officers that help us during the year with events. It’s the least we could do for the Woodway community.”

The race will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, taking off from the Woodway Family Center. Both the 5K and 10K loop through the nearby scenic parks and circle back to the starting line. El-Halabi said the registration fee for the race is $30 and begins at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Registration can be done ahead of time online, through the Waco Striders website. However, online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. today.

“It’s just an honor to be involved in that and what they’re representing, what they’re raising money for and raising awareness of,” Deskins said. “We’ll do whatever we need to do to make that happen.”