More than 1,500 participants took part in the inaugural Speedway In Lights 5k Run/Walk presented by Fleet Feet Sports Sunday evening at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Native Kenyan David Cheromei, who now lives in Damascus, Va., was the first to cross the finish line at the World's Fastest Half-Mile with a time of 15:19, while the overall female title went to Johnson City's Katie Flaute who finished with a time of 19:25.

Cheromei, who finished among the top 20 at the Kenyan Olympic trials for steeple chase in 2008 and also earned 16 national titles while running for Virgina Intermont, has a personal best time of 13:26 in the 5k but said he was a bit distracted during the run.

"This was absolutely fantastic," said the 30-year-old Cheromei, who also competes in marathons. "It was an amazing course and it was wonderful to get to run through the light show. I slowed down so I could see all the lights.

"This was a great event. I love to run and I love to run especially if it helps children. I run to help children's charities in Kenya, as well, and was very happy to run tonight because I knew it was going to help children."

Cheromei and Flaute each won a set of suite tickets to both the March and August 2011 NASCAR race weekends at Bristol Motor Speedway, along with passes to Speedway In Lights.

Finishing second in the men's overall category was Michael Deren (15:32), followed by Michael Davis (16:14). Angie Mays was the runner-up in women's overall with a time of 20:59, while Darby Middlebrook was third (21:05). Deren and Mays won grandstand tickets to both the March and August NASCAR events at BMS, while Davis and Middlebrook received grandstand tickets for the March races.

Other winners included Rebecca Benzer (21:22) and Dennis Cupp (19:54) in the Masters class and Karen Blizard (25:33) and Jon Reynolds (21:26) in the Grand Masters division.

Winners in the under 10 division were Alan Boles 23:32) and Cassidy Farley (29:52). Macy Carrier (22:18) and Justin McCarty (19:42) were tops in the 10-14 class, Olivia Greeley (22:12) and Dalton Hudlow (17:33) won the 15-19 class, Ashley Moreloc (21:26) and J. Penny (16:54) claimed 20-24 wins, Amy McColl (21:39) and Jeremy Donahue (17:55) took top honors among runners aged 25-29.

Laura Duffy (22:17) and Jeremy Lively (19:52) won the 30-34 division, Kimberly Hines (24:57) and Thomas Carson (16:21) claimed the 35-39 age bracket, Lisa Simpson (24:10) and Mike Mays (22:46) reigned supreme among the 40-44 group, B.J. Jolley (24:05) and Matthew Studholme (21:24) topped runners 45-49, Susan Rogers (28:48) and Joseph Perrin (23:09) took top honors in the 50-54 age group, Sharon Wismore (27:18) and Stephen Street (24:45) topped the 55-59 group and Mary Sutton (27:32) and Curtis Akard (23:47) was the class of the 60 and over field.

View more than 100 photos from the event at Bristol's Flickr page.

Proceeds from Speedway In Lights benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for children’s agencies in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The Bristol Chapter of SCC has raised in excess of $5.5 million since 1997.