NASHVILLE -- The Titans 5K, presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors, drew a huge crowd on Saturday morning at Nissan Stadium.
Here’s a look at five observations:
Over 2,200 runners and walkers took part in this year's Titans 5K, which bested last year’s total by a large margin.
“It’s the most we’ve ever had sign up,” said Stuart Spears, Titans Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. “We’re excited about the participation, and the weather was perfect.”
Center Ben Jones, cornerback Malcolm Butler, cornerback Tye Smith, and defensive line Brent Urban were among at least a half-dozen players on hand.
“What separates this race from other races is the participation of our players, our coaches and our staff,” Spears said. “It’s a chance for (runners) to line up next to Titans staff members and Titans players and experience the event alongside them, and not just as a spectator.”
Titans General Manager Jon Robinson was the official starter.
After sounding the starting gun, Robinson went down the line of runners and gave high-fives as they started the course.
“This is my fourth year coming out, and it seems like the crowd is bigger every year,” Robinson said. “It is just really fun to see the two-tone blue out here on the street, and raise some money for a good cause.
“(Fans) are ready for football, and they’re fired up. Nashville did a great job hosting the draft, and with the excitement around the players we were able to bring in in the draft and free agency, they’re just ready for football. Plus, the community is so important to us as an organization so anything we can do is important to us.”
Ryan Snellen of Nashville crossed the finish line first, in a time of 16.19.
Brianna Koshy, as Nashvillian who just graduated from the University of Alabama, was the top female finisher, in a time of 19:30.
Snellen, a 2007 Belmont graduate, won the Titans 5K for the third time. He finished third last year.
“This year it was a little bit of a redemption tour for me to come back and just put in a good fight,” Snellen said with a smile. “At the end of the day, that’s the best we can – have some motivation, have some fire in the belly, and go for a win. At the end of the day, all you have to do is Titan Up.”
The Titans 5K has become a tradition for punter Brett Kern and his family.
Kern and his wife, Tiffany, have participated in the race every year with their kids.
The first year they did it, oldest son Bryce was in a stroller.
On Saturday, Bryce finished ahead of the family of five, with daughter Anelle behind him. Brett saluted teammates as he crossed the finish line, as Tiffany pushed youngest daughter Quinn in a stroller.
“It has been cool to do it every year,” Kern said. “The kids know what we are doing, and they look forward to it every year. It’s good to teach them about perseverance, and finishing a race.
“It’s just a fun time for us to get together as a family, and a great way to spend a Saturday morning together.”
Proceeds of the Titans 5K go to PLAY LIKE A GIRL, a nonprofit organization that encourages all girls to be “strong, smart, and bold” through direct service and advocacy.
Play Like a G!rl is a national 501(c)3 charitable organization founded in 2004. Their mission is to ensure that every girl reaches her full potential by providing girls ages 9-13 an opportunity—and in many cases, their only chance—to participate in sport and physical activity.
“Having a wife and two daughters and my mother and my sister, anything to empower women and help them through life,” Robinson said. “We try to do all we can to help.”
Over 2,200 runners and walkers participated in the team's 7th annual 5k, presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Saturday at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, Al Wagner)