Hoyt Leads Record Crowd At Annual Road Race

Kevin Hoyt led a course record number of participants to claim top honors at the 8th Annual Newtown Road Race on a humid August 31 morning. The 5K race, which started and finished at Dickinson Park, featured 687 registered runners, according to Steve Meeker, director of the 5K and Kids Fun Run, presented by Nike and to benefit Newtown Youth & Family Services.

Hoyt, a 23 year old from Newtown, finished the course in a time of 16:35 — a 5:20 mile pace. He was nearly a minute faster than runner-up finisher Lane Thornton, 24, of Brookfield (17:32). Danbury’s John Larosa, 32, came in third in 17:39. Two Newtown runners rounded out the top five as Christopher Gamble, 16, was fourth in 17:47 and Grandon Smith, 17, was fifth in 17:55. Other hometown participants in the top ten were eighth-place finisher Ethan Burg, 15 (18:13), and Riley Rising, 14 (18:25).

“Very humid start,” Meeker said of the conditions. “Fortunately, we had some cloud cover right around race time.” Temperatures in the low 70s and water stations provided by volunteers helped the athletes overcome the stickiness. Newtown High School student Emily Crebbin sang the national anthem to kick off the event.

“It’s a great race. It’s a fun series,” said Newtown’s Cory Benson, 56, who won the female 50-59 age division, completing the course in a time of 21:51. Benson, who participated along with her husband, Dennis O’Connor, was alluding to the other two races in the Newtown series, the Rooster Run which was held in July, and the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.

The other age division winners from Newtown/Sandy Hook were 66 year old Pat Smith in the female 60-69 category (31:29), 13 year old Joel Duval in the male 1-13 category (20:17), and Gamble and Hoyt in the 14-19 and 20-29 divisions, respectively.

The course is enjoyed by participants, in part, because of its scenery and dirt and paved roads.

“It was a nice trail and it was a beautiful day,” said Lindsay Knauf, who ran along side close friends of the family of Jessica Rekos, one of the students lost at Sandy Hook School. This was the 19th race Knauf participated in as part of her 26 in 2013 for Sandy Hook efforts to remember all of those lost on 12/14 (visit 26in2013forsandyhook.blogspot.com for information).

Newtown’s JP Bernard ran the course along with his son Maximilian and daughter Anastazia. Maximilian also participated in the Fun Run. “It was nice, a little bit warm, but very nice — a nice course,” Bernard said.

For complete results and a race information, visit plattsys.com.

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