Despite a rainy day in late April, 29 cadets from the Zachary High School Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program entered and completed a 5K race.

Cadets from Lee and Northeast high schools also competed in the annual run, celebrating the 99th anniversary of Junior ROTC in the U.S., according to retired Maj. Leslie Martin, senior JROTC instructor at ZHS.

Sponsored by the U.S. Army Cadet Command, this year’s event was a precursor to the 100th anniversary of the race, slated for April 26, 2016.

“Every JROTC program in the nation was encouraged to participate with the ultimate goal of setting a new world record for the largest 5K ever conducted,” said Martin, adding that a massive effort is underway to encourage all JROTC programs to participate next year.

“Our little 5K in Zachary was just a small slice of a bigger JROTC pie. Next year, the race will be open to the community,” he said.

A total of 425 high schools, 30 colleges/universities and seven military bases were involved in the worldwide effort.

At the local level, Zachary JROTC 5K winners included Stephanie Harper as the first-place female, and Trevor Humphrey, Frank Hotard and Joseph Florida, as the first, second and third-place males, respectively.