Nearly 400 runners and walkers braved blustery conditions Saturday morning to take part in the 20th annual SEA 5K Road Race and Fitness Walk.
This year saw some quick times, despite the weather, and a state employee finished in first place. Eric Williams of the Department of Environmental Services shaved nearly 40 seconds off his time from last year. His top placing helped the DES to a first-place team finish.
Williams said his plan for the race was to run hard and do well for the DES team.
“We’ve had the title, I think something like 16 of the last 17 years,” Willliams said. “Our team captain and spiritual leader Steve Landry does a good job getting us ready for the race, sends out emails in advance, gets everybody pumped up and encouraged. It’s just a fun event for us all to participate as a state agency.”
While the weather may have been a factor for some, Williams said it wasn’t the worst he’s run through.
“I remember running this race in the snow, and it didn’t snow today, so that’s good,” Williams said.
Mary Hillier, who’s the chair of the SEA’s Road Race Committee, said the weather may have scared some runners off, “but most runners who signed up for the race are just happy it’s not snowing.”
Overall, she thought the race came together “amazingly well.”
“Everything came together at the very end as it always does by some miracle, and the good graces of all the state employees on our committees, the retirees who come out and put in such a good effort,” she said.
Besides Williams, the top finishers among state employees included Perry Seagroves, of New Hampshire Technical Institute, and Matthew Cahillane, of Health and Human Services on the men’s side, and Debra Fortier, of Information Technology, Peb Bastien, of DES, and Eileen Curran-Konrad, of Plymouth State University.
Joining Williams and Bastien on the winning DES team was Dale Guinn, who finished sixth overall. The top overall female finisher in the race was Jen Mortimer. You can find full race results here.
Volunteers for the race included members of the Road Race Committee, SEA staff and the Operation Santa Claus Committee, which benefits from the event.