PHOTOS BY JAY KELLER
“It was amazing!” said Lucy Neher, one of the race organizers.
“We broke a lot of records,” she said, “and had a lot of fun.”
Twelve 6-year olds ran the 5 kilometer race, said Neher in amazement, “And they had pretty good times!”
Neher is the city’s Safe Routes to School coordinator. The Takoma Park 5 Kilometer Challenge Sunday was started in 2009 to promote the Takoma Park Safe Routes to School program. The program advocates pedestrian and bicycle safety, encourages safety and exercise, and seeks to reduce traffic congestion and emissions around schools.
1100 runners signed up for this year’s race, held Sunday May 5. Last year there were 850.
The course started at the Takoma Park Community Center, down Maple Ave. to Sligo Creek Parkway. If followed the Parkway east to the Carroll Ave. bridge then made a U-turn, heading back past Maple Ave, west to Piney Branch Rd. There it made another U turn back to Maple and the Community Center
There was also a 1 kilometer Youth Run, which took place closer to the community center
Determined to participate – and to come in last, as is her tradition — Ward 3 councilmember Kay Daniels-Cohen took part despite recent health challenges. Instead of walking, this year she rode the route in a wheelchair.
Six race prizes were awarded:
MALE OPEN (Gun Time)
1 457 Jake Rodriguez-Noble 28 Takoma Park MD 17:40
FEMALE OPEN (Gun Time)
1 93 Nikolette Cochran 28 Takoma Park MD 20:03
MALE AGE GROUP: 1 – 10 (Net Time)
1 643 Charlie Wiebe 9 Takoma Park MD 22:04
FEMALE AGE GROUP: 1 – 10 (Net Time)
1 596 Aviva Wright 9 Takoma Park MD 29:27
MALE AGE GROUP: 11 – 14 (Net Time)
1 177 Jeremy Gagnon 13 Takoma Park MD 18:34
FEMALE AGE GROUP: 11 – 14 (Net Time)
1 102 Eleanor Cook 14 Takoma Park MD 22:37
More than 45 organizations and businesses supported the race this year, with sponsorships and in-kind donations ranging from $20 to $1000. Funders include Children’s National Medical Center, Finn Family Group, Toole Design Group, Whole Foods Market, RJP & Associates, Takoma Park Farmers’ Market, Mark’s Kitchen and City Sports. Money raised from the race supports the five schools in the City of Takoma Park: Piney Branch Elementary, Takoma Park Elementary, East Silver Spring Elementary, Rolling Terrace Elementary and Takoma Park Middle.