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More than 450 participate in sixth Heather L. Hurd 5K

Runners begin the 5K at Saturday's sixth annual Heather L. Hurd 5K Run and 1 Mile Fun Walk, held at Harford Community College.
Runners begin the 5K at Saturday's sixth annual Heather L. Hurd 5K Run and 1 Mile Fun Walk, held at Harford Community College. (Photo by Lauren Ciambrusc, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

More than 450 runners and walkers participated in the Sixth Annual Heather L. Hurd 5K Run and 1 Mile Fun Walk held Saturday at Harford Community College.

Approximately $30,000 was raised for Remembrance Book Scholarships for Harford Community College students. More than $100,000 has been raised over the event's six years.

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The race honors the memory of Heather L. Hurd, a history major at Harford Community College from 1998 to 2003, who was killed in a 2008 motor vehicle accident in Florida by a distracted driver who was texting.

Ms. Hurd's death gave rise to efforts by her parents and others to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in Maryland and to successfully work for passage of legislation making it illegal to text while driving,

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Danielle Kays was the top female runner, completing the 5K in 20:07. The top male runner was Jesse Goodyear, who finished in 17:37.

Among the attendees were County Executive David Craig, county executive-elect Barry Glassman, County Council President Billy Boniface, Councilman Chad Shrodes and Baltimore County Del. Jim Malone. Also present was Jennifer Smith, executive director of StopDistractions.org.

The Oriole Bird, Poe from the Ravens and the Chick-fil-A Cow mingled with participants.

"When we partnered with Harford Community College to create the Heather Hurd 5K, it was with the hope to change lives while saving lives," Russell Hurd, Heather's father, said. "If our event changes the life of one student, to reach his or her life's goal, if our message resonates with just one person to help change the driving culture and therefore save one life, our event is a success and our fondest wish will have indeed come true."

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Many activities took place before and after the race, among them Allstate's "Reality Rides," a texting-while-driving simulator that participants used to experience how distracted driving impacts operation of an automobile.

Also on hand were DUI goggles that simulated the impairment and danger caused by drunk driving. A tractor trailer was on site for participants to see firsthand what a truck driver experiences while driving. George's Customs Towing and Canby Motors Collision Repair provided wrecked vehicles that were displayed along the course route.

The race had a record number of sponsors including Platinum Sponsor Kent Schwab Allstate Agency and Gold Sponsor Bel Air Honda/Fiat of Fallston.

Tracy Hart of 970 WAMD in Aberdeen and KHZTV Network served as master of ceremonies, and the radio station broadcast live from the race.

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