Golden Helix Races for Funding

Members of the Cookeville community raced to benefit scholarship funding Saturday at this year’s Golden Helix 5K on Tech’s campus.      

Janet Coonce, this year’s race director, said Saturday morning was chilly, but that didn’t stop the runners of Cookeville from lining up in front of Prescott Hall to await the explosion that kicked off the 3.1-mile race.

The Golden Helix 5K is a run put on by student members of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Tech. Coonce said the event had a small start several years ago, but has really taken off in recent years.

“ASBMB actually started the event four years ago with only a handful of runners that participated,” said Coonce. “However, since then, we have seen the event grow more and more each year.”

Coonce said that the annual event is put on not only with the goal of gaining scholarship funding for students in the department of chemistry at Tech, but also with the goal of gaining funding for various student activities in the department such as attending national chemistry meetings in different cities every year.

Coonce said the event takes a lot of planning and preparation to pull off every year.

“We started planning and preparing for this event over a year ago,” said Coonce. “The biggest issue with planning this year’s event was coming up with a date that didn’t conflict with Homecoming, the Ryan Burnett race, the Haunted Half race, or just any of the other races around the area.”

Coonce said that there is a lot that has to be done in order to make an event like this one successful.

“There are a ton of steps that go into setting up the event,” said Coonce. “We have to get a city permit, a police escort, and a certified race route to even think about having the event.”

Medals were given out at the event for the top three male and female runners overall, as well as the top three male and female runners in each of the nine different age groups, according to the event’s website. There were also medals given out for the top three male and female runners in a stroller division. A trophy is presented every year to the fastest registered group of runners, and that trophy went to the Society for Women Engineers on Saturday.

For more information on the event and a complete listing of the results, visit this year’s event website at