The people who crossed the finish line in the Second Annual Run 2 Remember 5K in Riverhead yesterday morning braved unseasonably cool temperatures and strong winds to do so — but they did it.
They were inspired, no doubt, by the reason for the run, a chance to honor the memories of lost friends and loved ones: Jamal Davis, brother of Demitri Hampton, a 21-year-old Riverhead High School graduate killed in an armed home invasion in 2013; Curtis Flippen, 18, a Riverhead High School senior, who ran in memory of his Riverhead High School track star dad, who passed away in 2012; or C.J. Quackenbush, 23, of Manhasset, whose father Chris, an investment banker, perished in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.
About 200 people registered for the footrace, which took a route through the streets in the area surrounding Riverhead High School, where the race started and finished. Riverhead Schools Superintendent Nancy Carney fired the starting gun just after 9 a.m. In all, 147 people finished the 5K.
Youth prevailed in yesterday’s run, with the top three male and female finishers all under age 20
A pair of runners came across the finish line at exactly the same time. Luke Coulter — last year’s top finisher — and Eric Cunha, both 17-year-old Riverhead residents and students at Riverhead High School, finished at 16:56.3.
Behind them came Joseph Messina, 18, of Aquebogue, at 17:53.1, and Ryan Carrick, 14, of Riverhead, at 18:03.3.
The first female finisher was Hannah Connolly-Sporing, 19, of Southampton at 20:13.3. Isabella Burke, 12, of East Moriches was the second-place female (22:29.9) with Madison Stromski, 13, of Aquebogue a few steps behind as the third-place female finisher came (22:34.1).
“It was another successful event,” said organizer Patrick Burke, an assistant principal at Riverhead High School. Burke conceived the run last year as a way for the community to come together in memory of those who are gone.
He said he’d seen too many students and faculty members pass on and wanted a way to acknowledge them and honor their memory. The Riverhead Administrators Association loved the idea and agreed to sponsor the race as a fundraiser for college scholarships for graduating seniors.
“We’re so grateful for the sponsors who supported the run and made it a success,” Burke said today. The proceeds of the race will again fund half a dozen scholarships, he said.
RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti