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The American flag is held aloft as the voice of Sarah Schlueter-Eisman, singing the National Anthem, carries through the fog.
5th annual Arc Grand Prix Run/Walk is a foggy affairWATKINS GLEN, April 14, 2018 -- About 600 runners and walkers braved 37-degree temperatures in a heavy, wet fog Saturday morning for the fifth annual Arc of Schuyler Grand Prix Run/Walk on the Watkins Glen International race track.
The event -- with the facilities provided free of charge by WGI -- raises funds for The Arc, a not-for-profit organization providing support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. A total of 560 runners were registered before Saturday's race, and another 40 or so signed up on site.
Groups, individuals, friends and parents with youngsters were among the racers and walkers -- who were lost to sight after running a short distance from the starting line. The event covered the 3.4-mile long track -- including WGI's "boot" section -- with participants going in the opposite direction from that normally used by cars at the track's race events.
The Arc run/walk was part of WGI's season-opening day -- which later included admitting vehicles to the track for pace laps. Cars were gathering at the facility's entrance as the Grand Prix Run was wrapping up its festivities, which included the presentation of awards. An After Party was planned for later at the Grist Iron Brewing Company.
The overall winner of Saturday's race was Matthew Wilbur, 33, of Corning, who finished in 17:58.38. Timothy Stahlnecker of Waterloo, 29, the winner in 2016 and 2017, finished second in 19:23.01. He ran a time of 19:12 two years ago, and 17:19 last year.
The top female finisher Saturday was Brieanne O'Hearn, 33, of Horseheads, who posted a time of 22:46.37 while placing seventh overall. Chelsea Socha, 28, of Montour Falls finished second among females (and ninth overall) in 24:02.98.
Many walkers participated, some finishing in an hour or more. Then came free refreshments, and the presentation of awards.
The event was timed by AuyerTiming.com.
Medals went to the top three finishers in various age categories. Among Schuyler County residents, top age-group finishers included:
10-14 Male: Liam Smith, 10, Watkins Glen, 26:14.48
Photos in text:
Top: Arc of Schuyler Executive Director Jeannette Frank meets with WGI President Michael Printup before the run.
Middle: Watkins Glen's Kelsey Wood chats before the race. She won the 30-39 Female category.
Bottom: Matt Hayden, left, and Mike Stamp pose before the start of the race, in which they both participated.
Runners and walkers approach the starting line after meeting upon a knoll for pre-race announcements.
A small cannon with a loud explosion marked the start of Saturday's Arc Grand Prix run.
Matthew Wilbur of Corning crosses the finish line before anyone else, in 17:58.38.
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