Record crowd braves the chill
Dolphin Dash organizer Becky Walter (center)
with her children, (from left to right) Seth,
Torri, Annie and Jack.
HOLMES BEACH – A record 280 runners braved temperatures in the high 30s to low 40s last Saturday to run in the Anna Maria Elementary School's Dolphin Dash, co-sponsored and sanctioned by the Bradenton Runners Club.
The runners ranged from youngsters, including AME students, up to one man more than 75 years old. There appeared to be no serious injuries, although a spectator with a son in the race passed out and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Olivia Ortiz, a Lakewood Ranch High School student, won first place overall for women in the 5K race with a time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds. Dominique Kohlenberger, from King Middle School, won the Masters trophy with a time of 23:10, Lynda Botzenhart was the Grand Masters winner running the course in 24:51, Arlene Jarzab was the Senior Grand Masters winner with a 25:17 and Erma McMullen was the Veteran Grand Master with a 33:55.
Canaan Meestra-Kitterman, a Bayshore High School student, took first place in the men's division with a time of 16:46, Mark Doyle was the Masters winner with a 20:12, Rob Hetterich was the Grand Masters winner with a 20:56, Frank Davis won the Senior Grand Masters trophy with a 22:34 and Tom Conlin was the Veteran Grand Master running the course in 22:51.
For race organizer Becky Walter, this was a bittersweet year for the Dolphin Dash. With her twin daughters, Annie and Torri, graduating this year, she is turning the reigns over to a new person.
"Jessie Bryson will be taking over," she said at the race.
"All I wanted to do was get kids interested in running," she added. "So far, we've been able to increase attendance every year."
She promised to come back to participate or watch her kids run.