Shipley's Choice Elementary School PTA's Technology 5k (SCES) is only in its second year and has already become a staple event in the neighborhood. With the success of last year’s event, parents and teachers hoped this year’s attendance would be even better.
For months they have prepared by soliciting local businesses for prizes for the winners by soliciting Annapolis Strider’s members for help with organization and promotion of the event. On Sunday morning, volunteers began marking the course with bright orange cones before most people had rolled out of bed.
All of their work paid off in spades. By 8 a.m. the parking lots and fields in front of the school were teeming with kids and their parents, as well as local runners who were looking for a fun, fast course.
The event got underway with the One Mile Fun Run when kids as young as 4 years old took to the course on a mad dash for the finish. Third-grader Ryan Allen was first to cross the line in 7:25:86. Kaitlyn Panebianco, also a third-grader at Shipley’s, was the first girl to cross the line in 7:33. The rest of the field was welcomed in with a continuous cloud of bubbles and cheers.
Immediately following the One Mile Fun Run, the main event started with significant cloud cover and perfect weather for a race.
Sean Ouimet, 28, came across the finish line in first place.
Having already earned a third place finish in her age group at the B&A Trail Half Marathon this year, the women’s winner, Mara Whiteman, has found success on the local race front. Whiteman decided late Saturday evening to register for the event.
“I was thinking with all the training I did for the half marathon in March, and the consistency I've maintained since, that it would translate to a time improvement in my 5K,” Whiteman said. “It was not the time I was hoping for, but I gave what I had this morning, and got an awesome prize for being first female.”
For her blazing 21:18 finish, Whiteman won a three month membership to the Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness Club and four free sessions with a trainer.
The planning committee for this event has certainly hit the nail on the head with local runners. Although age group winners are never going to get rich from their winnings, the SCES PTA managed to put together prizes that their runners will talk about throughout the year with the hopes that next year even more runners will turn out for their event.
In addition to raising money for the PTA, the event was used as a collection point for gently used running shoes. The shoes will be divided into two deliveries. The ones that are able to be used again will be donated to an organization that provides shoes to the underprivileged. Shoes that are beyond wearing will be repurposed into reusable materials.
The Technology 5k is a new event in the Shipley’s Choice community, but the runners who milled around after today’s event all agree that it is one they hope to see stick around for a long, long time.