Run for the Beads returns to Waterside Place

Article by Jay Heater, Observer, February 10, 2024

After crushing the field in 16:40, Lakewood Ranch’s David Proudfoot was asked why he decided to come back to the Run for the Beads Feb. 10 at Waterside Place when he dominated the 5K race a year ago.

“I like that this race is specific to Lakewood Ranch,” Proudfoot said. “We have so many races at Nathan Benderson Park, so it’s good that runners can mix it up, and have something in their community, for the community.”

The race benefits the Lakewood Ranch Community Foundation which in turn grants funds to area nonprofits.

Run for the Beads Co-Chair David Ahrens said he was thrilled to be a part of the event.

“First of all, this is about the pleasure of doing something that helps the community,” said Ahrens, who also helps to put together the Turkey Trot in the Lake Club. “This is truly a public event while the Lake Club event is more of a private event. This race helps the Lakewood Ranch Community Foundation with its branding. It also raises some good awareness of Waterside Place, so it’s a win-win. It is just one more reason to come here and to experience this beautiful place.”

Ahrens, who competes in triathlons, said he expects the race to grow in the future to where it hosts 800-1,000 runners.

“As an athlete, I love this race because it has a grass roots feel, and that’s more personal,” he said.

Lakewood Ranch’s Steve and Laura Saladino finished the race holding hands, then said they expect to be back every year.

“We hope to be legacy runners,” Steve Saladino said.

“It’s local, it’s positive, it’s great,” Laura Saladino said.

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