Rockwater 5K runners help others meet fitness goals |  Local News

Rockwater 5K runners help others meet fitness goals | Local News


Generous souls used their soles to impact the lives of others.

It truly was a 5k for “rock” stars—Saturday morning at Culpeper’s Rockwater Park.

Props to race director Whitney Propps, medical program and fitness manager for the Powell Wellness Center, sponsor of the annual three-miles-and-change trek through the town’s newest park attraction (with just a smidge out of the park, whisking in and out or a nearby neighborhood.)

“It’s a beautiful park,” Propps relayed, “and a splash pad and a challenging course that Culpeper does not have too many of!”

Propps spends months organizing the Rockwater Park and Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5Ks, an obvious labor of love.

“It was a duty I gained partially by happenstance,” said Propps, now a veteran director of three 5Ks. “But I have learned that I love bringing the community together in the planning that goes behind it.”

Like last June’s inaugural 5K, race proceeds will support fitness scholarships that provide gym memberships to community members with medical conditions who would benefit from exercise, but do not have the means to pay, according to Propps. Some participants made additional donations on top of their initial sign-up fees.

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Helping Propps to the finish line in organizing the race this year were Amy Columbus, Culpeper Run Club; Josh Lemasters and Chuck Love with Love Timing; and the brain trust behind Culpeper businesses Kash Imprints and K Art and Design.

Propps was also quick to express gratitude for Saturday’s success: “Thank you to the Town of Culpeper and Town of Culpeper Police Department, as well as UVA Health Therapy services.”

The corral of more than 50 participants traversed Chuck Love’s timing platform precisely at 8:32.46, and in a blistering 21:13.72 minutes—the average time it takes a normal human-being to envision a fitness goal and then write it down on paper— Jason Weber, from Lake Frederick, crossed the finish line. Less than two minutes later, the first female runner hit the tape, Rachel Saving.

Savering, who was running the course with daughter Lucy Edwards, was thrilled to be sprinting for the benefit of others.

“It’s a really good cause!” the Rixeyville resident said, after picking up her “goodie bag” and race bib from Lauvita Jackson, who works the Powell’s membership services and front desk.

Jason Billstein, who was with son Mason, a 14-year-old Eastern View sophomore gearing up for his first 5k, echoed those comments.

“It’s a great opportunity for the community to come together,” Billstein said, “and to support those in need.”

Full results of the race, complete with divisional male and female leaders, may be found at

Propps said typically, the Powell Wellness Center scholarships made possible with race proceeds annually serve more than 100 community residents.

“Race registration helps support your neighbors in need,” Propps added, “for whom regular exercise can yield life-changing wellness benefits.”

Stricken with severe knee pain, Hoffman ended up at the Powell for physical therapy where she was introduced to equipment that—coupled with a strong desire to conquer her pain—ultimately change her life.

The Culpeper woman was able to become a Powell member as a scholarship recipient—paid for by those aforementioned generous souls who used their soles to run/walk 5ks on behalf of those like Hoffman.

“Terrie was also losing weight, which continued to motivate her,” Propps said. “During her years at Powell she has continued to work out three-to-four times a week and has lost almost 100 pounds!

“While watching her diet and exercising, Terrie has also come off of all blood pressure medications,” Propps continued. “With the support of her doctor, the staff of PWC and through her own perseverance, Terrie continues to exercise regularly and make strides towards less pain and a healthy future!”

Like a parent watching their child take its first steps, it was easy to recognize, on this day, just how much the Powell 5Ks mean to Propps. She radiated sunshine smiles to all passing by her on several of the park’s snaking asphalt pathways.

She later hustled to be at the finish line to cheer on everyone completing their journey on this postcard-perfect early June morning.

They finished … so others might begin.

Davy Meister, a retired schoolteacher and coach with a background in print journalism, is a freelance writer who lives in Culpeper. Reach him at

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