TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Sunflower State Games are officially underway and they got started bright and early Saturday morning with the ceremonial lighting of the cauldron.
The 2018 Male and Female Athletes of the Year carried the torch to the Sunflower State Games Cauldron before the 5K and 10 K Cauldron Run.
Chad Lorenz, 2018 Male Athlete of the Year didn't run the race, but he participates in the track and field events, specifically the 800 meter race, which will take place next weekend.
He also competes with his daughter.
Lorenz was born with a congenital heart defect and had surgery to repair it.
One day while out on a run, he collapsed and fell into cardiac arrest.
He survived the scare and he didn't let that stop him from continuing to do what he loves.
"I just continue to do that to inspire other people,” Lorenz said. “Just because something tragic happens in your life, you shouldn't just give up."
Once the cauldron was lit, it was off to the races.
Runners from all over the state ran 5K’s and 10K’s around Tinman Circle at Lake Shawnee.
Raziel Patton a 16-year-old out of Wichita was the overall winner with a time of 17 minutes and 46 seconds.
It wasn't his first time running the 5K. He competed last year and got first in his age group, but finished in the top 20 overall.
He looks forward to using the experience in the future.
"I’ve been practicing, you know, improving myself and my times,” Patton said. “It’s fun, it’s really competitive, it’s good experience for the future if you're going to college."
13 NEWS’ Melissa Brunner and Rick Felsburg finished in first place in their age group as well!