By Connie Leinbach
Great weather made for great attendance at the Scallywag 5K/10K races, the Ocracoke Waterfowl Festival and the Portsmouth Island Homecoming on Ocracoke on Saturday.
Runfest Weekend continues on Sunday with the half-marathon, beginning at 7 a.m. outside 1718 Brewing Ocracoke.
On Saturday, more than 260 runners competed for the best time and glory in the 5K and 10K races.
Denis Dominguez, 28, of Ocracoke, won the 5K overall with a chip time of 18:09. It was a personal best, he said.
Following close behind him was Henry McFall, 15, of Pittsboro, who runs cross country for school but this was his first nonscholastic road race, with a chip time of 19:11.
Islander Gerardo Dominguez, 31, placed third with a time of 19:24.
Henry’s twin sister, Lily McFall, 15, won the women’s 5K overall with a chip time of 25:17. It was Lily’s first ever race.
Alyssa Lapp, 36, of Ocracoke came in second with a chip time of 25:59, followed by islander Rocia Trejo, 44, with a chip time of 26:14.
In the 10K, Millard Thomas, 54, of Nags Head, came in first with a time of 41:24. He was followed by Michael Lancaster, 40, of Holly Springs, N.C., at 43:29, and Seth Wiltshire, 26, of Chester, Virginia, at 46:11.
For women, Kate Pullen of Buxton, 42, came in first at 47:55. Brooke Lambert, 37, of Wilmington was second at 49:35, and Lauren Blakefield, 43, of Swansboro was third at 54:44.
“I did it!” was a refrain heard a lot, especially among the 10Kers.
“I was just happy to finish and not walk any of it,” said islander Keith Hess, 55, after he completed his first 10K in 1:03:42 and placed 27th overall.
First-time racers Peter and Barbara Miller, both 75 of Lyndonville, Vermont, also had never run this kind of race before and found themselves in the winner’s circles in their 70+ age categories in the 5K, with Barbara in second place at 48:28 and Peter having captured first place at 46:18.
“We loved it,” Peter said, noting they walked and ran the course. “Next year we’ll do better.”
All race results can be found at RuntheEast.com on the results page.
At the Ocracoke Waterfowl Festival in the Berkley Barn, a steady stream of visitors attended to gaze upon the many carved decoy wonders at 23 vendor booths.
“The first three hours were amazing,” said Trudy Austin, one of the event organizers, about the crowds.
John Simpson, president of the Ocracoke Decoy Carvers Guild, which puts on the event, also was astonished with the great turnout despite the other two events occurring on or near the island.
“The turnout has been fantastic,” he said, estimating 600 to 700 people attending.
Dale Robinson won the decoy carving contest in which carvers have 60 minutes to fashion a wooden pattern into the head of a pintail duck, which also happened to be the featured duck this year.
“This is my granddaddy’s pattern,” he said as he displayed his winning carving at his booth. That was Eldon Willis, a carver from Stacy, Carteret County, he said. “I mostly learned (carving) from my dad, Dan.”
Islander Dan Robinson was the featured carver a few years ago, and Scotty Robinson, Dale’s brother, also had a booth this year.
“We’re representing pretty good,” Dale said about the Robinson cohort at the event.
Reports from the Portsmouth Homecoming, the last one of which was four years ago, were that the attendance was good and that events went off without a hitch.
A detailed report on the Portsmouth Island Homecoming will follow later.