Asheville citizens wear superhero capes for nonprofit

by Jonathan Dermid – Staff Writer – jbdermid@unca.edu

 

This Saturday, nearly 300 superheroes took to the streets of Asheville, not to combat evildoers, but to raise money in the name of a real life hero.

The Superhero 5K, sponsored and organized by the Asheville Brewing Company, is an annual race event. This year the race supported the Jeff Bowen Scholarship Fund at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, which serves as a foundation for future firefighters and their education.

The dedicated participants gathered in force despite the blustery conditions, with everyone from Superman to Batman to ‘90s childhood favorite Quailman represented.

Five years running, this race is as busy and fast-paced as ever.

Photo by Marine Raynard – Contributing Photographer

“All of our races that we’ve done go to a nonprofit organization of some kind, and it’s just a great party. The customers love it, and it always brings out a lot of people for the cause,” said Leigh Lewis, owner of the Asheville Brewing Company and key organizer of the race.

Brandon Lowery, general manager of the Asheville Brewing Company, shared this sentiment, both from a community and business standpoint.

“We’ve been doing these races for four or five years, and it’s been a success every time. It’s especially good for business, but it’s definitely pretty crazy, because you’ll have 250 or so people rush in and rush out. But I’d say it’s more of a community thing than a business thing, because it’s more about the people just coming together. The business aspect kind of follows after that, in the sense of just getting people in here,” Lowery said.

Rochelle Sorenson Cox also played a big part in organizing the race, and helped to bring the community together for it through local business sponsorships.

“I work with an organization called Girls On The Run, and Leigh and I have worked together on several races and have been friends through the community for a while, so she asked me to help out. I was in charge of trying to secure sponsorships, and we had lots of places help out this time, like Charlotte Street Computers, Cornerstone Physical Therapy and Earth Fare for example,” Cox said.

These local businesses were not only giving their sponsorships, but also their support, with Earth Fare donating fruit for the runners, the Brewing Company offering pizza and the Asheville Firefighter Pipe and Drum Band playing music to inspire the runners.

There were even prizes offered for the best hero and best villain costumes, which encouraged many unique costumes throughout the crowd.

“We had a lot of competition this time around, because there are actually seven races going on just today. But it’s just a fun way to celebrate fitness, and move a little bit, and wear tights. It’s the fifth year we’ve done this, and it’s always supported the firefighting or law enforcement community, so we were really glad to support Jeff’s scholarship this year,” Cox said.

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