Musicians provide soundtrack for Flutopia 5K

Rain cooled off runners who were motivated by live music Saturday during the first Flutopia 5K at Tom Tudek Memorial Park.

The Flutopia Initiative is a local fundraising project designed to inspire flutists to bond and encourage other musicians to join in helping “change the world one concert at a time,” according to local flutist and founder Cathy Herrera.

“We do this to inspire people with music,” Herrera said.

Herrera said the 5K Flutopia Initiative was sparked about a year and a half ago. She said her mother was a musician and her father was a runner.

“I wanted to combine the two things of music and running,” Herrera said. “I felt it was something I was called to do.”

Carole Krantz and several supporters waited at the finish line for her son, Daniel, to complete the run. He underwent knee surgery just last year.

She said the two enter as many races around the Centre Region as possible, but this one hits home.

“He’s been training a bit to work his knee back to what it was,” Krantz said about her son. “We heard about it and are both music lovers and really wanted to be a part of it. It’s not all the time you can enter a race with so much motivation behind you.”

Herrera said musicians and musical groups, including professional musicians and the Penn State Flute Choir, spread across the park.

The 5K raised money for Centre Volunteers in Medicine and Doctors Without Borders, but a fundraising total was not determined.

“It’s all about giving back and enjoying our hobby or profession of music for others,” Herrera said.

Herrera said she hopes to make the 5K an annual race. A 1K walk and “Kiddie K” for children ages 9 and younger were also part of the race Saturday.