LAKEWOOD Chilly temperatures and a light snow accumulation were no deterrent for participants in this year's Amy King Memorial 5K Run/Walk.
"This is probably the worst (weather) we've had in our 12 years but everybody's showing up," said Tom Anderson, branch manager of the Lakewood YMCA. "It's still a good turnout and everybody supports it."
According to Anderson, about 400 runners turned out for Amy's Run and that has been a consistent number throughout previous years. Many runners appeared in costume to participate in the best costume contest, which awards a $300 prize to the winner.
Around 400 runners battled the elements Saturday to take part in the 12th annual Amy King Memorial 5K Run/Walk. Pictured at left is this year’s winner, Jack Brunecz, who finished with a time of 16:49. See full race results in Sports.
P-J photo above by Mark L. Anderson
P-J photo at left by Gavin Paterniti
"It's something fun to do it and keeps me warm," said Kevin Stearns, a runner dressed as a Viking.
Also participating in the run was Dr. Rudy Mueller, who was sporting reindeer antlers and clothing acquired from past years in Amy's Run.
"I have five kids here so it's a family event," said Mueller. "We do it every year and it's a great event."
The race kicked off at 11 a.m. to the sound of a starter pistol. The first runner to cross the finish line was Jack Brunecz, with a time of 16:49. Second place went to Dan Mueller, who finished with a time of 17:43. The majority of the runners finished between the 20 and 30-minute mark, with the walkers finishing later.
Taking part in the 5K walk was Deb King Lloyd, Amy's sister.
"It's awesome to be here every and see the community come out no matter what the weather is like," she said. "You can see that it seems to grow every year and it's overwhelming that, even after our 12th race, we still have families coming and telling us that this has become a yearly tradition for them."
Participants who pre-registered received a specialized sweatshirt commemorating the 2012 Amy's Run. Following the race, food and live music were provided at the Busti-Lakewood Community Center, which served as headquarters for the event.
The proceeds from Amy's Run, which average about $10,000 per year, go toward the Amy King Kids Fund, which has provided for the construction of a new playground at the Lakewood YMCA. The race also offers a $1,000 scholarship to a graduate from Southwestern Central School, Amy's alma mater. Last year's scholarship winner was Robert Newell, who is now attending the Rochester Institute of Technology.
"It is about coming back and remembering Amy, but it's also about a community coming together," said Lloyd. "The best part about it is that all of the proceeds go to children. When you can run in a race that is benefitting a good cause, you're getting a good workout and you're helping kids. It's a win-win for everybody."
The annual run honors King, who was killed while working as a flight attendant aboard Flight 175 in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.