A time lapse of Saturday's Run For The Dream 8K Run/Walk through Williamsburg.

WILLIAMSBURG — The third annual Run for the Dream 8K on Saturday drew nearly 2,500 participants — and many more lined the course through Colonial Williamsburg and the campus on William and Mary to cheer on competitors.

Tracy Lokken was at the front of the pack for a majority of the Run for the Dream 8K, finishing in 25 minutes, 28 seconds. Nancy Meck, 41, was the first female finisher and the 28th overall, with a time of 30:28.

Lokken, 47, from Marquette, Mich., sped through the 4.97-mile course at a pace of 5:08 per mile, in his first time competing at the event. He entered the race as one of the favorites and is ranked second nationally for the 45-49 age group.

"I felt good about my pace today," he said. "I looked back at the four-mile mark and felt comfortable with how I was running."

Lokken ran in the Boston Marathon in April, finishing well before the explosions at the finish line. He said that he needed a two-week break from running after the bombings to recover mentally.

"Something like that can really shake you up," he said. "It could happen to anyone, and sometimes life just isn't fair."

Behind Lokken were Malcolm Campbell from Atlanta and last year's Run for the Dream half marathon winner, Greg Mariano. Campbell, 42, finished in 25:44 and Mariano followed close behind in 26:10.

Run for the Dream, which continues Sunday with a half marathon, and its accompanying events benefit An Achievable Dream Academy in Newport News and several Wounded Warriors programs.

There were 2,488 participants in the race, 139 of which represented the USA Track and Field Masters division. More than 2,100 runners finished the course in the 90-minute time limit, as volunteers and residents of the community cheered them on.

The field for the 8K contained runners of all shapes and sizes, young and old, from all over the country. The two oldest competitors, Lou Lodovico, 89, and Hugh Campbell, 88, finished in 1:03:34 and 1:17:54, respectively.

Vietnam veteran Ronald Pate, 66, traveled the farthest of any competitor in the race, leaving the beaches of Hawaii to run William and Mary's campus, finishing in 34:51.

Pate said that he is using the race to prepare for the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy, in August.

"I really wanted to use this race as a measuring stick to see where I am in my training," he said. "I chose Williamsburg because it is a pretty difficult course and is a great environment to run in."

Meck, from Atlanta, cruised to the female title, finishing one minute, 35 seconds before the next fastest woman. Dorean McCoubrie, 51, from Malvern, Pa., and Californian Christine Kennedy, 58, rounded out the women's top three, finishing in 31:57 and 32:08, respectively.