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More than 300 runners participated Saturday morning in the fifth annual Run For Food, a race sponsored by the South Brunswick Interchurch Council.
Last year, in 31-degree weather, 210 runners competed. Saturday morning, in 52-degree weather and under a sunny sky, 137 runners competed in the 5-kilometer race (3.1 miles) and 175 competed in the half-marathon (13 miles).
Erastus Kiama, 23, of Cary, ran the half-marathon in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 59 seconds. His average pace per mile was 5:44. Finishing five seconds behind was 24-year-old Jonathan Kinsey, of North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The top woman finisher was Tracy Christian, 45, of Wilmington. Her time of 1:35.49 (a 7:19 pace) was the 25th fastest.
The grand prize for the male and female top finishers in the half-marathon was a weekend at the beach, courtesy of Hobbs Realty of Holden Beach.
The top county runner was Dale Waters, 43, of Ocean Isle Beach. He finished 20th in 1:31.44. The top county runner among women was Donna Dejong, 34, of Calabash. She finished 58th in 1:49.15.
The U.S. Track & Field-certified course started on the island, crossed the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway via the high-rise Odell Williamson Bridge and ended with a loop back on the island.
Just as popular was the 5K race. Louis Pelsang, 34, of Morehead City, won the race in 18:35 (a 5:59 pace). He finished 28 seconds ahead of brother James, 43.
The top female finisher was Jamie Fiscus, 22, of Wilmington. She finished 20th in 24:40.
The top county runner was Charles Doran, 33, of Southport. He finished fifth in 20:43. The top county runner among the women was Cindy Grant, 60, of Southport. She finished 32nd in 26:18 (an 8:28 pace).
Results are posted at wilmingtonroadrunners.org.
The annual fundraising event benefits the council’s food pantry, which serves every Saturday from its location in downtown Shallotte at a cost of about $2,500 per week. Last year, the event raised $6,500. Despite the recession, the money collected so far from the event Saturday is $10,360, according to Dick Connolly, council treasurer.
“There will be some additional (money) from last-minute on line registrations,” he wrote in an e-mail. “The final will be about $12,000.”
The South Brunswick Interchurch Council is a nondenominational Christian organization offering help and hope to neighbors in need. Member congregations work together to assist in the areas of food, clothing, shelter, utilities, life skills and spiritual guidance.
MICHAEL PAUL is the sports editor at the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or at email@example.com.