After he zoomed through the huge blue inflatable arch, McCullough, who has raced in the New York City, Boston and London marathons, wiped his sweaty face with his shirt.
McCullough, the vice president and COO of Humana Pharmacy Solutions, said he runs five days and 45 miles a week. The guy just doesn’t stop. Even though he triumphed at the Dash, his Sunday running wasn’t even halfway done.
“I’m gonna go run nine more miles,” he said. “It’s a 12-mile day.”
McCullough was one of more than 80 people who came to the 5K on the gorgeous, clear and unseasonably warm winter day. The race was followed by a one-mile family fun run and a Chanukah party.
Before the runners got going, they were treated to beautiful and heartfelt renditions of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah,” sung by Kenneth Oeth and Cantor Sharon Hordes respectively.
After the soaring songs, JCC Healthy Living and Member Experience Director Tara Stone gave the athletes their running orders. “You guys ready?” she asked. “Take your mark and go!”
The theme from Rocky boomed from huge speakers and a dreidel mascot danced as the runners bolted from the grounds of JFCS at the corner of Cannons and Dutchmans Lanes, and set out on a course that took them up Dutchmans Lane and south onto Taylorsville Road before they turned around at Keneseth Israel synagogue and returned to JFCS.
Runner Maureen Sullivan said she and her running mate Katie Caswell were thrilled that the JCC finally held a race. Sullivan was also delighted by how much the runners got for the $25 registration fee: a swag bag with a dreidel and other treats, a black sweat-absorbing long-sleeved Tek running shirt featuring the running dreidel mascot, and a party filled with activities, fresh apples, latkes and Chanukah gelt.
“It’s a bargain,” she said. “We’re just happy to be here. This is my first race in at least a year.”
After the race and the family fun run, everyone gathered in the first floor basketball court for the casual Chanukah party and medal-distribution ceremony. Winners in each age-group were announced and awarded with medals featuring the running dreidel mascot.
Suzanne Duvall, the first woman to finish the race, was proud of her achievement and already looking forward to another Dreidel Dash.
“I can’t believe it. I’m going to be 58 a month from now,” she said. “It was awesome. It was a wonderful inaugural race and I’m going to run it every year.”
The 2015 Dreidel Dash was supported by Power Walker Sponsors: Dr. Alan Mauser, Louisville Podiatry PSC and KentuckyOne Health and Walker Level Sponsors: Today’s Woman and Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana.