"On your mark," an announcer warned. "Jump them frogs."
Hands and feet scampered behind three frogs during the annual Come-See-Me Mayor's Frog Jump on Saturday at Cherry Park.
Two frogs leaped down a fake green lawn. One left the chosen path.
"Stop," the announcer called 10 seconds later as Holly Winn and Lindsay Crawford looked on.
"You need to direct the frogs," Crawford said while her two-year-old son, Grayson, watched as three of the registered 211 frogs took to the lawn.
"Everybody ready," the caller asked.
The trio went sideways and backward but not down the lawn.
"The sense of direction was off," Crawford said to Winn.
As coaches and frogs took to the lawn for another race, Crawford prepped Grayson.
"He doesn't like frogs, but he's going to jump," she said. "You ready to jump?"
"Uh-uh," Grayson mustered up.
Leaps later, Grayson hit the lawn with Winn's daughter, Savannah, and their frogs, Bubba and Emma, respectively. The oversized frogs took off.
"Both frogs went to the outfield," Crawford said.
Winn added, "That was cool."
After the last frog leaped, Kelsey Webster took first place with her frog, Ihop, whose series of leaps took him 45 feet from the start line.
Mikanna Wearley snagged second place with Sindy, whose leaps officials measured 43 feet, 7 inches. Frogzilla's leaps measured 26 feet, 7 inches, earning Cooper Brown third place.
Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echol offered coaches a game plan for next year's race. "There are people who've gone home and started training for next year," he said.
Behind the froggies and ball field, smells from sizzling steaks and onions tempted noses to eat during Gourmet Gardens, a Come-See-Me signature event.
"I smell food," a young girl said as she hurried her mom to nearby food vendors, including some that promised funnel cakes laced with powdered sugar.
Nearby, Tina Guempel and husband Kliff of Chester surveyed food booths.
"We're going to look at all of it and sample the Greek food," Tina Guempel said.
Work schedules kept the couple away from the festival until Saturday, Kliff Guempel said.
"We've been talking about coming for years," he said. "It's better than staying home and doing housework."
Around 9 a.m. Saturday, Laura Adkins and Malinda Murray started running in a race that started at the Charlotte Avenue YMCA, looped the coliseum at Winthrop University and wrapped up at the YMCA.
"We finished," Adkins, a physical education teacher at Northside Elementary School said of the 3.1 mile race. "It was a lot of fun."
Murray of Rock Hill added, "It was a good opportunity to get outside, be part of the festivities and have fun."
But there was more to the race than fun.
"It was to keep in shape and be active," Adkins said. "We've been running on the weekends."
After the race, Adkins and Murray joined the festivities at Cherry Park and rewarded themselves with some butterfly fries.
"They're very good," Adkins said. "They're thin and crispy."
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