Rain can't put a damper on Living4Burke 5K Run

Kyle Riviere @kyleR_sports
The rain didn't bother the many participants that showed up to the Lamar Dixon Expo Center to run the Living4Burke 5K.

There was plenty of rain on Saturday morning, but that didn't stop the hundreds of people that showed up at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center to participate in the third annual Living4Burke 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run.

"This is our biggest race yet.  It's a rainy day, but we still have a lot of people that came out to support us, so we're really happy about that," event organizer and the aunt of the late Burke Cobb, Kristine Simpson said.

The Living4Burke Foundation was started in 2012 after Dutchtown high-school athlete James "Burke" Cobb collapsed and died while he was playing in a pickup basketball game.

Cobb's death was the result of a sudden cardiac arrest.  He was just 14 years old.

Ever since the foundation was created, they have kept the memory of Burke alive but the same time, it has been their mission to make sure no other children fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest.

Living4Burke has performed preventative heart screenings on over 1,500 athletes, and they have also helped pass an important piece of legislation in the state that they hope will save lives.

"Last year, we worked with the American Heart Association to pass a law in Louisiana that all kids that graduate from Louisiana high schools will learn CPR under the Burke Cobb Act, and thats in effect right now," Simpson said.  "Our state was the 17th state to pass this kind of legislation, and we'll graduate 35,000 life-savers every year because of this act. 

"We've also been asked to travel to Florida and help encourage their law-makers to pass similar legislation."

On Saturday, the foundation was back to raising awareness as their 5K run came back to Gonzales for the third straight year.

Despite a steady downpour, hundreds of people showed up, and they weren't just from Ascension parish.

There were runners from all over the state--some from as far as Slidell.  There were even some participants from outside of Louisiana.

After registration, the day started with music and the fun run--which was a mile long.

Not long afterward, the participants took to the rain and ran in the 5K as they wore their neon and pink "Living4Burke 5K" t-shirts and Cajun Timing timed out the event.

Bobby Love of Baton Rouge came in first as he completed the run in a blistering 18 minutes and 25.7 seconds.

Jerrod Selman of Prairieville finished in second at 19 minutes 0.7 seconds as Ismael Nova of Edinburg, Texas, finished in third at 19 minutes and 15.2 seconds.

Gonzales' own Clarence Johnson and Slidell's Mitchell Bogran rounded out the the rest of the top five.  Both men finished the run well under 20 minutes.

Finishing out the top 10 were: Jack Randon of Baton Rouge, Max Allen of Prairieville, Carlos Lopez of Alamo, Texas, Collin Luke of Baton Rouge and Zachary Kilpatrick of Prairieville.

After the rain-soaked run, there was more music and hot and tasty bowls of jambalaya for everyone to enjoy.    

Simpson was so proud of the event's big turnout despite the stormy conditions.

"On a rainy Saturday morning, people could be doing anything else, but they chose to come out and support us today and run in the rain," Simpson said.  "I thought they would just eat jambalaya and hang out, but they actually ran, so that's wonderful."