COVINGTON -- Local runners returned to prominence winning the 29th Fuzz Run on Saturday.
The participant's increased from last year's just over 1,800 runners to the 2,024 runners in this year's event.
Covington's Eric John took the top spot in the men's division with a time of 18 minutes, 12 seconds while Social Circle's Kelly Brown was the first woman to cross the finish line in 22:02.
"It's always cool to win your home town race. Now I can say all the races they have in Covington, I've won. Whether it was the Heat of the Night, the Firehouse, Steeplechase and now the Fuzz Run," John said.
The 41-year-old Florida native runs just about every week participating in 100 races a year. While a lot of runners use these 5K runs to train for bigger events, John runs the 5Ks just because he enjoys running.
"I run all the races," John said. "I've won at every distance. 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathons and 50-mile race."
John ran cross country when he was in high school back in Jacksonville, Fla. but didn't pick it up again until three years ago. When he trains he doesn't follow any system, he just runs.
"I don't follow a book or nothing like that," John said. "I just do it."
The girls race was a little bit closer as Brown had to keep her wits about her. Thinking she was a sure winner, the 26-year-old Social Circle resident, she was concentrating on the finish line a few feet away. That was when the runner behind her made her move to win.
"She came out of nowhere. I just took off and almost fell on my face trying to get across (finish line), Brown said. "I had no idea she was there."
Brown won the Fuzz Run in her second try after finishing runner-up in her age bracket her first time. Brown's time of 22:02 not only was good enough to win, she also achieved her other goal.
"I always try to beat my last time and I did. My last one was 23:17."