Superintendent Van Ayers running the 2024 Running of the Bulls 5K.

The seventh annual Running of the Bulls 5K drew in around 400 people to Bloomingdale High School on January 13 and raised just over $15,000 for the high school and band. New this year, the 5K is providing two scholarships to Bloomingdale High School seniors, which will be presented at the Senior Awards Banquet in May.

Malik Millet won the 5K with a time of 16:41. Makenna Mach, a Bloomingdale High School senior, was the overall female winner with a time of 21:28. Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Van Ayers and Bloomingdale High School Principal Dr. Marcos Rodriguez ran the 5K. It was Ayers’ second time participating.

“I loved the atmosphere of the race and the way the community came together to support Bloomingdale High. This is my second year taking part in Running of the Bulls 5K, and I plan on always making it part of my racing calendar. The race brought together students, staff and families and was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning,” Ayers said.

The 5K is put on by the Bloomingdale Band Boosters and is made possible by local business sponsorships, such as title sponsors Acropolis Greek Taverna in Riverview, The Jeep Depot, Hungry Howie’s and Reed & Reed. Participants included runners and walkers from all over the area, along with current students and Bloomingdale High School alumni. In addition to the 5K, which utilizes pavement throughout the campus, there was a half-mile run/walk around the track. Participants of both events received finisher medals, and 5K participants received Dri-FIT shirts.

Bloomingdale band director Jordan Fraze is extremely grateful for the support the 5K provides the band.

“Seeing the community come out in droves to support the band through the Running of the Bulls 5K was incredible. This event is one of our largest fundraisers, and it goes towards helping the band program purchase instruments, equipment, sheet music and so many more things that are required to keep our program functioning at the level of excellence that is has for so many years. I’d like to personally thank our local running community for making our 2024 Running of the Bulls a success,” Fraze said.

To find out other ways to give to Bloomingdale’s Rajun’ Bull Band, please contact For more information about the Running of the Bulls 5K or to find out about next year’s event, email

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