Hundreds participate in annual Watermelon Classic 5K - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hundreds participate in annual Watermelon Classic 5K

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

On Monday morning, hundreds of runners and walkers put in some hard work enduring this year's Farm Bureau Watermelon Classic 5K route through Jackson.

Fifteen minutes and 52 seconds after the race started, Joseph Chebet sprinted across the finish line. Chebet, who has been practicing for a year, is no stranger to watermelon classic victory. 

"I won it last year," said Chebet. "I knew the event was coming and I had to prepare for it to defend my title." 

While Chebet was in it to win it, most just came out to have fun.

"It's just a good time, everybody supports everybody," said runner Tammi Thornton. "It's just a good good time." 

First time participant Jeanna Burns ran the race to honor her dad, a Vietnam veteran, who passed away 13 years ago.

"This is in honor of him," Burns said. "I'll cross the finish line with him on my mind." 

Calvin Smith, a sprinter who won Olympic gold and bronze medals in the 1980's, was among the crowd to sign his new book and encourage people to just have a good time.

"If you win or lose don't worry about it, just let it be fun," says Smith.

One of the biggest perks at the Watermelon Classic 5K is after the race where participants get to enjoy some juicy watermelon.

 All proceeds from the Watermelon Classic 5K benefit the Mississippi Hall of Fame and Sports Museum, which opened 20 years ago on the Fourth of July. 

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