Rainy weather rarely dissuades dedicated road-race runners — especially people with a place in their hearts for marine life and the rescue work done by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.
More than 170 people turned out to Run for the Ridley today, the 19th annual 5K race held in downtown Riverhead to benefit the Riverhead Foundation.
One hundred and fifty people finished the race, which took them on a 3.1 loop down East Main Street and Riverside Drive to County Road 105 and back.
William Reed, 47, of Hampton Bays was first across the finish line in 18:48.8.
Amy Contant, 43, of Miller Place was the first woman finisher at 19:56.5 and third overall.
Madison Stromski, 13, of Jamesport at 22:14.8 was first in her age group, the fourth female across the finish line and ninth overall.
Marie McDonald, 77, of Mattituck was first in the 75-79 age group, crossing the finish line at 40:59.6.
The oldest runner to finish the race was Don Nenniger Sr., age 86, of Port Jefferson, who came across at 51:37.7.
Complete race results may be found on the It’s Your Race website.
“Money raised by this event helps us pay for the care and food the animals need,” said Riverhead Foundation’s Allison Deperte.
There are other ways to help, Deperte said. “You can donate online or support our animal adoption program,” she said. The adoption program allows donors to provide support for the care and feeding of a particular animal rescued by the foundation.
The organization rescues, rehabilitates and releases seals, sea turtles, whales, dolphins and porpoises.
“Some of these species are critically endangered, and may become extinct in our lifetime. All are protected under New York State, federal, and in some cases, international Law,” according to the foundation website. “We are the only organization authorized by New York State to carry on this important work in conserving marine mammals and sea turtles.”
More information about the foundation can be found here.
RiverheadLOCAL photos by Peter Blasl