Participants in the fourth Marco Island Kiwanis Family 5K race couldn’t have asked for better conditions, with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees and the wind light. Children, teenagers, adults and seniors-alike were raring to go at the starting line in the parking lot at Tigertail Beach Saturday morning.
“We had approximately 250 participants,” said race co-director Tim Clune, “and about50 volunteers. This is the biggest crowd we’ve had—and we expect even more next year.” Clune’s co-director was Preston Stiner.
Ciperano Martinez smoked the competition, covering the 3.1-mile course in 17:55. Martinez was the only runner to finish in under 20 minutes.
The top female finisher was Lauren Bogan, who clocked in at 23:08. Paul Allen was the Master Age 40+ winner (timeunavailable).
But more important than the runners’ times was the cause: literacy.
“The Kiwanis [Club] is primarily organized to help the children of the community,” Clune said. “Here on Marco, we’re one of the biggest Kiwanis clubs in Southwest Florida. We raise about $85-90,000 a year. All the money raised goes to children. Today’s race was primarily earmarked for literacy programs helping Manateeschool and Tommie Barfield school.”
The picturesque course led runners through the gated community of Hideaway Beach. The runners—and walkers—completed a loop through Hideaway’s tree lined streets and across a beautiful wooden bridge.
Mothers pushed their babies in strollers, children raced each other until winded, rested up, then sprinted some more. Seniors power walked and jogged along the scenic route.
Other top finishers were:12 and under, Michael Distal (23:13) and Sophia Meester (34:37), 13-19, Fernando Martinez (20:41) and Anna Chamberlin (24:12), 20-29, Kevin Burkwit (22:22) and Samantha Wilke (29:09), 30-39, Logan Meester (22:03) and Amanda Helwig (23:46), 40-49, Tom King (21:53) and Peggy Totten (25:35), 50-59, Jim Chamberlin (23:50) and O. Fuentes (25:27), 60-69, Charlie Funk (25:32) and Marilyn Springfield (28:00), and 70+, Charles Lamb 29:06 and Susanne Grossment (51:15).