It was sports day on Ocracoke as 266 runners of all ages competed in the 5K/10K in the morning and children competed on the new ball field in the afternoon.
Keith Gray, 50, of Buxton, won the 10K in the men’s division, with a time of 37:25. It was his first win, besting
Alfonso “Chito” Guerrero, defending champion of the 10K last year, who came in second with a time of 38:58.
“I’ll take it,” Gray, 50, said as he cooled down in front of Gaffer’s Sports Pub where the race ended. “The older you get the better you are at longer distances.”
Guerrero, 34, also beat Gray the prior two years when the event was still only the 5K.
Guerrero noted that he had twisted his ankle a couple of months ago and that it was still bothering him.
But he gets extra points for running in the one-mile family fun run that started at 10 a.m. at the Ocracoke Child Care Center and ended at the Ocracoke Coffee Company, Back Road and Sunset Drive.
Guerrero’s son, Imanol, 6, came in second in that event, behind Vanessa Lora, an Ocracoke School seventh-grader. Jade Lopez, 16, a ninth-grader was third.
Lulu Perez, 39, of Ocracoke was the women’s 10K winner with a time of 45:19. She was followed by Marissa Gross, 36, of Ocracoke at 46:01, and Chelsea Smith, 28, was third with a time of 51:09.”
Before that, Kevin Perez, 17, repeated his performance last year and was the overall winner of the 5K with a time of 18:40.
Gustavo Trejo of Ocracoke was second at 20:17, and Herb Clements of Hatteras was third at 20:32.
Angela Gray, 33, of Buxton and who is Keith’s wife, was the overall women’s winner in the 5 K with a 21:52 time.
Karen Perez, 15, of Ocracoke and Kevin’s sister, was second at 21:59, and Jordan Jones, 22, was third at 23:52.
Greg Honeycutt, race director, was again pleased with the turnout and the day as he sat in the bleachers of the new ball field at Ocracoke Community Park after the dedication ceremony and between games with the Ocracoke Blue Claws and Raptors.
“I don’t think it could have been better,” he said, though noting that his goal is to eventually see 400 participating. This year’s race had one shy of the number in last year’s race.
“I had so many people come up and tell me it’s their favorite race,” he said.
A number of first-time runners participated.
A group of 13 runners, some pushing baby carriages and accompanied by dogs, from Cedar Island wore T-shirts proclaiming “We Got the Runs” Southern Pamlico Sounders.
They are family members of Noel Goodwin, the middle school girls basketball coach.
“We do runs every year,” said Maggie Smith, a member of the group. “We’re going to keep on wearing the shirts wherever we go.”
Kelly and Chris Robbins of Greenville were celebrating a birthday and their anniversary by running in the 10K.
A runner for 14 years, Kelly said she enjoyed the Ocracoke 10K b prefers half-marathons. She’s fully expecting to return next year to participate in a half-marathon that will be added to the weekend.
Honeycutt earlier this year had announced this addition to the race for 2016. Proceeds from that race will benefit the Ocracoke Child Care Center.
He hopes that this year’s race will yield more than $30,000 for three island charities: Ocracoke Community Park, WOVV 90.1 FM and the Ocracoke School Athletic Boosters.
Stephen Kronlage, 17, of Camden, NC, placed third overall in the 10K.
A high school senior who has competed in Ocracoke with is cross-country team, enjoyed running through the village.
“It was a fun race,” he said. “I liked the village and the people cheering us on along the way.”
Herb Clements, 45, of Hatteras, was third overall in the 5K.
For complete results, click here.
Martha Garrish won the raffle.