9-Year-Old Runner Sets National Record
The SEA 5K’s course is regarded as fast, but on Saturday it seemed especially fast — even record-setting.
Chris Mahoney, of Westford, Mass., finished first in the 22nd SEA 5K with a time of 15:52, the fastest time in several years. Not long after Mahoney crossed the line, young Aiden Cox sped through the finish to set a new national 5k record for 9-year-olds. Weather conditions were nearly perfect for running — it was cool, overnight rain had stopped and the wind in the forecast held off until after the race.
Aiden Cox (18:03) finished just behind his dad, Tim (16:55), and just ahead of his sister, Addison (18:58). Tim Cox said despite his blazing speed, Aiden doesn’t really run for time, more for the competition and feeling of running fast.
“We’d like to preserve this for as long as possible,” Cox said, noting they hadn’t actually told Aiden about the record yet.
“We think he’s very young for something like this, especially since he simply loves to run and race,” Cox said. “He keeps it fun, no workouts per se, but mostly trail runs with his friends, sister and family.”
In case you’re wondering, mom Jennifer was running Saturday, too. The family has been familiar with the race for years, as Jennifer is a former state employee, but Cox said they’ve been running the last few years because the SEA 5K is part of the Capital Area Race Series.
Overall, there were 412 finishers in Saturday’s SEA 5K Road Race and Fitness Walk. Christin Doneski was the first female finisher with a time of 18:05. Eric Williams of DES was the top state employee finisher once again, with a time of 16:24. The team from DES topped the state agency team competition again as well, with Williams leading the way along with Steve Landry and Rebecca Williams. You can find complete race results here.
Jen Day, the chair of the Road Race Committee, said everything from setup to cleanup went smoothly.
“We had a huge turnout, despite it being Easter weekend, despite the governor’s Easter egg hunt, and despite the weather forecast,” Day said. “It was nice and dry and the rain held off until the awards were being distributed. Although this is my first complete year as chair for the race, we still find areas that we can improve upon for next year, which will be discussed at the road race recap meeting, this Tuesday, April 14, at 5pm at the SEA office.”
The SEA 5K Road Race and Fitness Walk is held yearly and is organized by members of the SEA/SEIU Local 1984. It’s a fundraiser for Operation Santa Claus, which helps provide Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children throughout the state. The race is dedicated to longtime volunteer Mary Fannion, who passed away in late 2013.
“Mary’s family members showed up for the second year in a row to participate in the race,” Day said. “A handful of Mary’s family also contributed money directly to Operation Santa Claus because they know how important this race and Operation Santa Claus were to her.”
Day wanted to thank SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member Robert Green, a security officer at Administrative Services, who was on site at 7 a.m. to open the lobby doors and turn on the lights at 29 Hazen Drive. Thanks are also in order to the many SEA members and staff who work so hard to make this event happen year after year.