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Nun Run brings fun, funds to Rosaryville

Photo by Lauren Langlois

NUN RUN -- Shannon Dutruch, of Husser, finishes the 5K race of the Nun Run Saturday at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center. Her time was 24:03.

By LAUREN LANGLOIS staffwriter@hammondstar.com

With green grass beneath their feet and pine trees surrounding them, runners snaked throughout Rosaryville Spirit Life Center's campus Saturday for the annual Nun Run and Cook Off.

The trail course weaved throughout the property. The one-mile fun run started at 8 a.m. and was followed by the 5K run. Proceeds benefit the works of Rosaryville Spirit Life Center and the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Spirit Life Center Director Suzette Callais said 150 runners registered.

Participant Buster Matthews of Ponchatoula said running is a constant in life. He has run every day since 2014. He has run in hail that left him bruised up. He even weathered a hurricane while out for a jog.

He had a daily running streak going before 2014, but he was forced to break it due to a heart condition from which he has since recovered. He said he loves running because of its accessibility. A person needs very little, just shoes and a place to run, he said.

The key is to start slow and build up endurance, he said.

"It's more fun when you do it with someone," he added.

Matthews has been a mentor to state climatologist Barry Keim, who also ran in the Nun Run. They have been running together since before Hurricane Katrina.

"He was my inspiration," Keim said.

While the participants clearly have a habit of running, none opted to wear habits in the hot, humid weather. The tradition of runners dressing up as nuns has faded over the years, according Rosaryville Board Member Sister Pat Thomas, but the support for the nuns of Rosaryville remains strong, with many sponsors and families. She said the fundraiser has evolved to more family activities, such as swimming, face painting and more.

While runners sweated it out for a good cause, vendors had refreshments and the band "Just For Fun" had the music. After the runs, the post-race party began, featuring the Anything Goes Cook-off with a variety of dishes competing for people's votes.

Kittens up for adoption attracted a crowd of kids, including Campbell Dutruch, whose mother Shannon Dutruch of Husser was the first woman to cross the finish line in the 5K.

Sponsors were H Rocker Electric, Perfect Fit, Lamar Hammond-Northshore, First Guaranty Bank, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Berryland Motors, Ponchatoula Therapy, Rouses, North Oaks Health System, Animal Care Center & Pet Care Center and PJs.