October 15, 2013

10th annual HICF Fun Run saw fewer runners
but plenty of spirit …WITH SLIDE SHOW

By JORDAN TOMBERLN


 The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation’s annual 5K Fun Run has become one of the most fun, festive, and community-centered charity events on the island.  And this year’s race was no exception.

The event took place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, and was once again held in Avon, with the Sun Realty parking lot serving as the hub of pre- and post-race activities, and the quiet, winding roads of the Kinnakeet Shores subdivision comprising the racecourse.

However, despite being held at roughly the same time and exactly the same place as previous years, it was clear that this year’s race was different.

With just 83 runners this year—down from 130 last year and 160 the year before that—it certainly wasn’t the foundation’s biggest, or “pinkest” race.

Entries from out of town visitors were down considerably from previous years.  " We suspect it is due to the beaches being closed from the government shutdown," said Donna Barnett, event organizer.

And with gray, cloudy skies, damp air, and temperatures in the mid-60s, it probably won’t go down in Fun Run history as being the most beautiful race day.

But, despite everything, the 10th annual Fun Run—and the people who showed up to run, walk, or otherwise traverse the 3.1-mile course—raised more money than ever for the Cancer Foundation.

The event brought in nearly $9,000, every penny of which will be funneled back into the community and used to help individuals and families on the island that are struggling with cancer and its effects. 

Even though this year’s race was smaller and a little more subdued than in previous years, there were a few things that didn’t change.

Every finisher received a medal, and once they crossed the finish line, Crazy Johnny’s Barbecue and Jamie Markley were there, volunteering their time and talents to provide food and entertainment to race-goers.

After everyone completed the race and had a chance to eat and drink, there was an awards ceremony in which the top finishers in each division—as well as the most “pinked out” runners—were recognized, and hundreds of dollars worth of prizes were raffled off.

Special medals were awarded to the first, second, and third place finishers in each of four categories: men, women, boys 12 and under, and girls 12 and under.  

And as foundation member Suzette Caldera was calling the winners to the stage, there were a couple of familiar names that stuck out among the bunch.
 
Keith Gray, of Buxton, was once again the first-place male finisher. This year, Gray ran a 5:40-per-mile pace and finished the 3.1-mile course in just 17:35. It was his ninth Fun Run victory.

But he wasn’t the only repeat victor.

After her impressive debut in last year’s race, 12-year-old Claudia Caldwell once again took first place in the girls 12 and under category. She finished the race in 31:50. And she wasn’t even wearing running shoes.

There a few other notable performances, as well. 14-year-old Caitlyn Setree, a freshman at Cape Hatteras Secondary School, took first place in the women’s division, finishing the race in 26:36.

She was followed closely by the second and third-place winners, Casey Barley and Chloe Christ, both of whom finished the race in less than 28 minutes and both of whom were pushing strollers the whole way.

And if there had been an award for “pluckiest participants,” then 8-year-olds Chloe Flythe and Lily Ratliff would have been shoe-ins.

Not only did Chloe take home third place in the girls 12 and under division, she also inspired her friend Lily, who had never raced before and was hesitant to sign up, to run with her.

The pair was all smiles when they crossed the finish line, Lily just behind Chloe.

“It was fun,” Lily said. “When we were running, sometimes we would say, ‘What are we doing this for?’”

“Cancer!” they shouted in unison, thrusting their fists into the air.

And they weren’t the only ones feeling the spirit.

This year, in lieu of a prize for most “pinked out” child, the foundation chose to recognize the humanitarian efforts of 10-year-old Rubie Shoemaker of Avon.

Rubie, a fifth-grade student at Cape Hatteras Elementary, wanted to help raise money for the foundation. So, she spent nearly two weeks, making bracelets that she could sell at the event.

“It was all her idea,” said her mother, Marcie Shoemaker. “She came to me a couple Saturdays ago and said, ‘I want to make bracelets and sell them and give all the money to cancer.’”

“A lot of people have cancer,” Rubie explained. “And sometimes, it gets really bad. I just wanted to help.”

Rubie raised $60, which she donated to the organization.

At the end of the day, whatever this year’s race lacked in numbers and meteorological appeal, it more than made up for in community support and philanthropic spirit.

And sometimes, that’s all you need.


 
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