BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Beethoven makes an appearance at a race to benefit the Wilmington Symphony.
Runners, some dressed in athletic gear, and others sporting musical instruments and costumes modeled after the German composer and musician took to Brunswick Forest for the inaugural Beethoven 15k and 5k.
It was a blast from the past as Beethoven’s look-a-likes ran down the streets of Brunswick Forest. Racers could choose between a more relaxing 5k, or a 15k, for those looking for an extra challenge.
"I'm not really a Beethoven fan,” music teacher Brandi Neal explained. “But I'm a symphony fan so I want to support the arts, because it is dying.”
A music teacher at Coastal Carolina University, Neal knows this first-hand. Aside from that though, Neal says she is racing for more than just music.
"I picked up running because diabetes runs really hardcore in my family, and I don't want to get it,” Neal said.
Runner Kristien Morris and her K-9 companion joined the race as well. And even though Waffle didn't run the race, he did give his owner plenty of congratulatory kisses at the finish line.
“Anytime we can get out here and support a good cause, and get a little exercise is good for someone that's an avid athlete or a runner,” Morris said.
Marian hills, President of the Board of Directors estimates nearly 350 runners and walkers came out to support the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.
In their 42nd year, Hills says the Wilmington Symphony performs several times throughout the year, including performances some of Beethoven’s works.
"It's critical that we raise the money, put on the performances, and give this opportunity to the musicians and the community,” Hills explained.
But the organization doesn't just put on performances; they also inspire and teach future generations of musicians.
"So, we're developing the next group of classical players,” Hills added.
Snazzy t-shirts and custom medals awaited runners and walkers at the finish line. Racers with the best times, and best costumes were awarded at the post-race party.