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Boughan And McRae Lead More Than 1,200 Runners In Sandy Hook 5K



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UPDATE (Sunday, April 2, 2017): This article has been updated to indicate the year a group of firefighters began participating in the Sandy Hook 5K.

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Given its namesake and cause, it is fitting that the April 1 Sandy Hook 5K was led by Sandy Hook residents Kevin Boughan and Brenda McRae who were the top overall and top female finishers at the annual race. Boughan, 41, who also won in 2015, came across the finish line, on the campus of Fairfield Hills, in a time of 16:51 to pace more than 1,200 listed finishers. McRae, 33, was tenth overall, clocking in at 19:35.

It had either rained or snowed during each of the first four Sandy Hook 5K events, making this year's damp conditions in keeping with tradition. But it was merely overcast, with no precipitation, during this year's race. Keeping dry made the fact temperatures were in the middle 30s bearable for participants, but the cold did not go unnoticed.

"It made me run faster, that's for sure," McRae said.

"I'm just so proud of all the runners who braved it," Boughan said of the chilly temperatures. "Every year, no matter what the weather, everyone shows up - it's great."

Piotr Kostyk, 27, of Bethel, was runner-up in a time of 17:44; Tim O'Neill, 23, of Brighton, Mass., was third in 17:44; Parker McKenzie, 15, of Newtown, finished fourth in 18:08; Thomas Linse, 16, of Newtown placed fifth in a time of 18:59; David Oelberg, 53, of Newtown, was sixth in 19:05; Peter Salamy, 46, of Sandy Hook, finished seventh in a time of 19:29; Ben Smith, 25, of Fishkill, N.Y., was eighth in 19:31; and Dan Germain, 55, of Newtown, was ninth in 19:33.

Sandy Hook firefighters, many in full gear with 60 pounds of uniform and equipment, made their way through the course, which took participants into the streets surrounding Fairfield Hills.

"It's hard. You've got to work for it," firefighter Susan McAllister said.

Shannon Hicks, an associate editor with

The Newtown Bee and a Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue firefighter, was part of a group of firefighters from Sandy Hook, Washington, and Kent that participated.

Firefighter Peter Barresi, of Sandy Hook, noted that the firefighter Jeff Kozo, from Washington Fire Department, in Washington Depot, initiated the effort of completing the 5K in full gear as way to honor those lost on 12/14, and

challenged the Sandy Hook firefighters in 2015 to do so as well.

Now it's become an annual challenge for us to do it in our gear," said Barresi who, along with Kozo, helped Kozo's son Jace - decked out in firefighter gear - across the finish line.

Barresi's son, Wyatt, was a first-grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12/14. A fifth-grader at Reed School now, Wyatt ran in this year's Sandy Hook 5K as well.

McRae's son, Myles, is a student at Sandy Hook Elementary School now, and McRae noted that competing in the race has a little extra meaning this year, with the new school having opened in town.

Boughan, who serves on the Sandy Hook 5K race committee, credited race directors Katie Blake and Julie Brunelle for their hard work in making the annual event a great success.

The Newtown Memorial Fund will serves as the fiduciary to collect and process all donations. Proceeds from the Sandy Hook 5K will be donated to the Collaborative Recovery Fund administered by the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation which pays the out-of-pocket mental health expenses for those who have been most impacted by 12/14. Additionally, a percentage of the proceeds will go directly to the chosen nonprofit organizations of those that lost loved ones.


Runners take off at the start of the Sandy Hook 5K, at Fairfield Hills, on April 1. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Sandy Hook 5K participants approach the finish line. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Sandy Hook firefighter Peter Barresi, left, and Washington firefighter Jeff Kozo help Kozo's son Jace (clearly a firefighter in training), across the finish. Kozo challenged the Sandy Hook firefighters to run the 5K in the first year of the event, and it has become a tradition since. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Sandy Hook firefighters cheer for the runners after completing the 5K themselves. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Parker McKenzie was fourth and was the second-fastest Newtown/Sandy Hook finisher. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Brenda McRae was the fastest female finisher, and was tenth overall, in a time of 19:35. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Kevin Boughan won the Sandy Hook 5K in time of 16:51. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)

Plattsys Timing webpageComplete race results may be found on the

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