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Hospital employees run first race in Tunnel to Towers 5K - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Hospital employees run first race in Tunnel to Towers 5K

Friday, the Tunnel to Towers 5k Run and Walk will have a strong sense of patriotism. (Source: WISTV) Friday, the Tunnel to Towers 5k Run and Walk will have a strong sense of patriotism. (Source: WISTV)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Friday, the Tunnel to Towers 5k Run and Walk will have a strong sense of patriotism. 

Honoring the military and first responders is one of the main reasons two Lexington Medical Center workers will pound the pavement.
 
For 16 years, Katherine Jones has played a very important role in other people's lives. She and fellow cytotechnologist Fermena Kelly - who has worked at Lexington Medical Center for 15 years - spend hours at a time looking through their microscopes examining patients' slides. 

Jones and Kelly say they sit at their desks all day, looking through their microscopes.  They intensely study human samples - looking for cancer on the cellular levels.

When they learned of the upcoming Tunnel to Towers race, they decided to get up and moving.

Both have the jitters as this is their first race.

Jones says, "I'm very nervous because I've never done this before. And I want to make myself proud. I want to be able to run as long as I can without having to stop and walk."

Orthopaedic physician assistant Eric Ashton at Southeastern Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine is one of South Carolina's most elite runners. He says it is very acceptable - and even a good idea - for new runners to implement walking in their race.

"It allows them to have confidence that they're going to finish and it lets them enjoy the event. And I think that's very important for something like this," says Ashton.

Ashton, who also coaches runners, says new runners must guard against getting caught up in the energy and excitement of a race and going out too fast too quickly.

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"Any of us who are participating that has a lot of buzz around it can easily get excited and not pace themselves appropriately and quickly struggle."

His advice to all runners is to do the Talk Test.

"If you feel like the effort you are putting out doesn't allow you to carry on a ten second sentence then it's probably too hard and you need to take it a little bit easier."

For Fermena, the Tunnel to Towers race is extra special as it salutes first responders and those who serve our country.

"My father served in the military. My brother served in the military. And I have a cousin who recently retired from the military,” says Fermena.

Friday, Fermena and Jones will draw on their respect for those who serve and protect to help them in their own steps.

The Tunnel to Towers 5k is Friday, September 16 starting on Lincoln Street near the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

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