“The weather couldn’t have been better,” said Mary Hillier this year’s chairman of the annual SEA 5K road race which took place on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at the Hazen Drive office complex. “There have been years where there has been rain, sleet or snow – so when you don’t get sleet and it’s not 80-degrees you call that a good race.” Weather for the race was clear and about 60 degrees.
Organizers say there were nearly 500 signed up for the race with a total of 397 runners and walkers of all ages finishing.
Three of the top four men finishers in last week’s 19th Annual SEA 5K race belong to the Department of Environmental Services making that team the first place team in the overall race. Heading up the team and coming in first was Eric Williams with a finishing time of 16:57 followed by Perry Seagroves (New Hampshire Technical Institute) at 19:00, Steve Landry (DES) at 19:22 and Ted Diers (DES) at 19:32.
Winning first place in the women’s category was Health and Human Services employee Katja Fox with a winning time of 21:51.
“I left before I realized I’d won (the women’s division). I picked up the mug that they gave out, but I had to run to a hair appointment and the award ceremony was still going on,” said first place finisher Katja Fox who ran on the Granite State team. “I love the race it is really well organized and the SEA does a really good job with the organization of the race. It also goes to a good cause which makes it really special.”
Following Fox, was Becky Lawrence (DES) with a finishing time of 22:43, third place went to Peg Bastien (DES) with 22:32 followed by fourth place finisher Debra Fortier (Department of Information Technology) coming in at 26:25.
In team finishes, The Department of Health and Human Services team placed second, The Department of Information and Technology placed third and Fish and Game came in fourth.
For the nearly 50 volunteers working the race, pulling off all the last minute details was about as challenging as a full marathon. “The race course looked as if it were a wiggly line leading to buried treasure,” said Joe Cicirelli one of the organizers. “You don’t want to know what happened the night before when we were trying to figure out how to mark out the route, we didn’t know which way the arrows should point.”
Team organizers say it will be awhile before they will know how much money was raised for operation Santa Claus, but already plans are underway for next year’s race which will be the SEA’s 20th.
“I’m talking big here. The committee wants to start early and do some fun things,” said Mary Hillier (DOIT) and this year’s chair. “We want the word to get out that we are looking for people who may have been in that first race twenty years ago and people who may have run all the races or perhaps ten out of the twenty.” Hillier is asking people who want to help plan next year’s race or who have something to contribute to its history to contact her by e-mail at email@example.com.
Traditionally the SEA 5K road race is held on the first Saturday in April.