By Jaylynn Floyd
June 11th, 2019
It was a humid June morning when people of all ages gathered at Columbia Gateway Drive to participate in the Girls On the Run Spring of 2019 5K run. Both beads of sweat and sounds of beautifully rehearsed music filled the warm, crisp, spring atmosphere, as hundreds of determined runners pass through the finish line. Atholton Marching Band trumpets, flutes and clarinets all played the Fight Song in unison, pushing and motivating the tired runners to finish their exhausting endeavor.
From 7 A.M. to 9 A.M., eager runners took to the street. Police sectioned off half of the road so that participants could be safe while running. Additionally, just past the finish line, Kona Ice, a shaved ice food truck company, and many other different vendors were posted. To top it all off, Kidz Bop and many other hits from the 2000s were playing loudly from speakers scattered around.
“Yes, the music is very helpful and is inspirational for people finishing,” stated an exhausted running mom who partnered with her child for the run. Additionally, she added that the music made them forget their pain, and they could no longer feel their feet at the finish line.
Even though the run was entirely voluntary, many Atholton Marching Band members joined and helped cheer for the runners as they crossed the finish line. Drum Major and Atholton junior Sooin Cho enjoyed “the fact that we are able to be here as a band and being able to cheer [runners] on.” She also said that she enjoys the feeling of the band being a source of energy for the tired runners.
Collectively, everyone in the band could agree that they enjoyed having a positive effect on the children running. Sophomore trumpet player Jaden Sarney said, “By the end of a 5K, you are very tired. In my experience [from] running six of them, by the end of the 5K you want to give up, so that little bit of motivation [from the band] goes a long way.”
As more and more runners started to finish the 5K, with just a flick of the wrist, Mr. Posner, the band director at Atholton High School signaled the band to play the Fight Song. Towards the very end of the run, the band played songs back to back, without any breaks. They all did this in good faith, and according to Tim Smith, also a sophomore trumpet player, “playing for them made them more motivated.”
Overall, the Atholton Marching Band’s presence was positive and well received. Even with the cheers from the crowd and music blasting in the background, nothing could compare to an actual band playing live music.