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Lightning Strikes Down Go! St. Louis Family Weekend

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Saturday, lightning shut down the GO! St. Louis Family Weekend in Forest Park.  Kids set to run their first race, were particularly disappointed.

Forty-nine-year-old Cynthia Sowell was excited to run only her second 5k in the Go! St. Louis Family Weekend.  She showed up Saturday before dawn.

"I've been getting up at five o'clock every morning, and just train for it," she said.

As the 8 o`clock start-time closed in, so did the clouds.  As president of Go! St. Louis, Nancy Lieberman faced a tough decision with thousands of runners and volunteers at the start line.

"If we were to stop the race,' she explained. 'It's because we would see lightning."

The announcer made the call at 8:06 a.m.

"It is with great regret we will have to cancel the 5K, as well as the rest of the races today."

Thirteen-year-old Gregory Williams says he was a little bummed out.  This would have been his very first 5k.

"I've been training for, like, the past month with my football coach," he said.  "I'm doing miles with him, like every single practice."

"I felt kinda sad," said little Francesca Kohrs.

The announcer announced a prize for every athlete showing grit, by standing in a thunderstorm.

"But what we would like you to do is, pick up your medal."

"I'm going to fool my brother when I get home," said little Joshua Goldberg.  "I'm just going to tell him I ran the race."

This bunch trained for the Read, Write and Run event for kids of ages 5-10.  Now, they are looking to next year.

"I'm going to train," said Emma Cort.  "I'm going to run every day."

Still, one felt there were enough personnel to keep the race on-schedule.  Lucy Faokinghm pointed out there was a key piece of equipment at the race.

"An ambulance, just in case anyone gets struck by lightning," she laughed.

And, it seemed like the storm didn't stop much.  Once the lightning went down, the runners kept coming in.  Some runners decided to run the 5K, anyway.  Nancy Lieberman had a little reminder.

"Races go on, rain or shine, snow or sleet."

The GO! St. Louis Endurance Races are still scheduled for Sunday at 7 a.m. from Market at 15th Streets in Downtown St. Louis.

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