Thousands take part in annual Franklin Classic - WKRN News 2

Thousands take part in annual Franklin Classic

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. -

A pack of more than 3,000 motivated and dedicated runners woke up early on Labor Day to participate in the 35th annual Franklin Classic.

The 10K, 5K and 1K kids run took participants through historic downtown Franklin.

"It's the longest running 10K in Middle Tennessee and I think there's a lot of history there. A lot of runners have run it before and they look forward to coming back year after year on Labor Day," said organizer Tracie Dycus.

Money raised from the race will go to help support Mercy Community Healthcare, which primarily cares for the underserved and uninsured.

Hillary Christison knows firsthand the importance of the organization.

"We've been going there now for 10 years with all four kids. We started when he was just a little one. They have walked us through some very scary moments but some very happy moments too," said Christison.

All four of Christison's children participated in the 1K kids run.

For amputee Andrew Kittrell, 13, of Lebanon, the race was a chance to try to improve his time with his new running leg.

He was among a group of 25 or so participants with the group Amputee Blade Runners.

"It's giving me chances I've never had. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have a running leg. They have really changed my life," said Kittrell.

Organizers expected the event to raise tens of thousands of dollars for Mercy Community Healthcare.

According to Dycus, the non-profit must raise nearly $1 million a year to take care of its uninsured patients.

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