Nearly 250 people participated this past Friday night in this year’s Mebane Dogwood Festival 5K Run/Walk and Dogwood Dash kid’s fun run, which was held in the streets of downtown Mebane.
While many competitors treated the event like a road race, many others decided to walk or slowly jog the 3.1 mile course to enjoy what was a beautiful spring evening in Mebane. And while most of the competitors were local to Alamance County, some came from as far away as South Florida to enjoy one of the more popular local 5K road races in the region.
During the race, the participants were met by a large and enthusiastic cheering gallery as they made their way towards the finish line, which featured officially-sanctioned timing. In fact, there were cheering spectators all along the road course route, which wound its way through the area to the immediate west of downtown before winding its way back near the intersection of West Clay Street and N. Wilba Road.
After the race, participants were able to enjoy food vendors, Midway rides, as well as the various bands who graced the stage at the Dogwood Festival, such as the Mason Lovette Band.
The top overall time of the adult 5K Run/Walk race was put up by Aaron Bowman of Greensboro, who ran the 3.1 mile road course in a time of 17 minutes, 40.34 seconds. Bowman’s time was a full minute faster than that of second place finisher Andrew Parker of Gibsonville, who came in at 18 minutes, 50.08 seconds. Third place was recorded by a Mebane resident, Jack Johnston, who posted a time of 18 minutes, 57.21 seconds.
In the female competition, Eastern Alamance high teacher and assistant women’s track coach Heather Walker, who lives in Efland, came in first place, recording a top time of 20 minutes, 26.24 seconds. Mebane resident Sara Flynn-Loy came in second among the women with a time of 18 minutes, 50.08 seconds, while Eastern High senior Courtney Keeler, who is expected to quality for the NCHSAA 3A state championships in the 800 meter distance race, came in third overall among women with a time of 21 minutes, 7.77 seconds.
Sub-20 minute runs were also posted by a pair of teenagers - Micah McDorman and Roman Morrell. McDorman placed first in the 14-to-19 year-old male grouping, with a time of 19 minutes, 18.90 seconds, while Morrell placed second with a time of 19 minutes, 41.88 seconds. Another Hillsborough resident - John Garrett - placed third in the 14-19 male age grouping with a run of 22 minutes, 13.94 seconds.
Mebane resident Brooke Brownell came in first in the 9-and-under female grouping, recording a time of 29 minutes, 8.57 seconds. Haw River resident Geneva Ricketts placed second in this young female age grouping (30 minutes, 17.44 seconds). In the 9-and-under male category, it was Burlington resident Asa McDorman who prevailed, placing first with a time of 28 minutes, 49.58 seconds. Avett Amero of Mebane was second among 9-and-under runners with a time of 30 minutes, 38.06 seconds.
Brooke Garrett of Hillsborough was the first place finisher in the female 10-to-13 age grouping, besting her peers with a time of 21 minutes, 56.49 seconds. Charlotte Wilson placed second (22 minutes, 45.50 seconds), while Catherine Parker of Mebane placed third (23 minutes, 27.98 seconds). In the 10-13 male age grouping, it was Mebane’s Vincenzo Papaneri who won, coming in first with a time of 22 minutes, 25.17 seconds. Papaneri was following in his category by second place Oscar Tello (22 minutes, 46.98 seconds), and third place runner Max Hawkins of Mebane (23 minutes, 4.75 seconds).
Moving into the older teenager category, Sophia Wilson came in first among 14-to-19 year-old females (23 minutes, 15.81 seconds), while Olivia White of Mebane placed second (25 minutes, 56.01 seconds). Cameron Crisp of Mebane recorded a third place time with a run of 33 minutes, 5.99 seconds. In the 20-to-29 female grouping, Hannah Kucewicz of Mebane placed first (21 minutes, 45.87 seconds), followed by fellow Mebanite Alarie Watson (25 minutes, 7.01 seconds), and third place Katie Hinshaw of Miami (25 minutes, 54.41 seconds). In the 20-to-29 male category, Josh Belin of Chapel Hill came in first (20 minutes, 23.47 seconds), followed by second place Jacob Countiss of Mebane (26 minutes, 3.31 seconds), and third place Evan White of Mebane (26 minutes, 27.16 seconds).
Elizabeth Schroder of Durham won in the 30-to-39 female category, recording a time of 23 minutes, 2.29 seconds. Miranda Godsell of Sims, North Carolina in Wilson County, placed second (26 minutes, 9.41 seconds), while Mebane’s Rachel Jones placed third (26 minutes, 31.00 seconds). Tracy Morrow of Burlington was first among 40-to-49 year-old females (25 minutes, 26.19 seconds), while Robyn Fonshee placed second (25 minutes, 46.46 seconds) and Amy Orange of Hillsborough third (27 minutes, 50.29 seconds).
Among 30-to-39 year-old males, Andrew Shoffner of Durham came in first place (21 minutes, 33.48 seconds), followed by Mebane’s Eric Burns (23 minutes, 13.14 seconds), and Burlington’s Aaron Park (24 minutes, 1.03 seconds). Scott Dyreng of Hillsborough topped 40-to-40 year-old male competitors with a time of 23 minutes, 11.75 seconds, followed by Adam Mathews of Mebane (23 minutes, 26.47 seconds), and Len Lopate (26 minutes, 20.74 seconds).
Some very impressive times were posted by some of the more experienced competitors. Sarah Meredith paced the 50-to-59 year-old age grouping among females with a time of 22 minutes, 14.49 seconds - besting many people decades younger. Meredith was followed by Mebane’s Kari Wilkinson (25 minutes, 43.94 seconds), and Burlington’s Tammy Gilliam (29 minutes, 11.59 seconds). Among 60-to-69 year-old females, Anne Anderson of Elon came in first (31 minutes, 44.83 seconds), followed by second place Cheryl Murphy of Mebane (32 minutes, 57.78 seconds) and Denise Davis of Pinnacle, North Carolina (46 minutes, 14.45 seconds).
Mebanites swept the 50-to-59 male age grouping, with Ray Hillen placing first (22 minutes, 5.41 seconds), Aubrey Meador second (22 minutes, 20.91 seconds), and Michael Wilkinson third (22 minutes, 51.17 seconds). John Montelli placed first among 60-to-69 year-old males with an excellent time of 22 minutes, 3.22 seconds. Ben Salvatore came in second place (29 minutes, 59.44 seconds), while Hillsborough’s Dirk Sprenger placed third (33 minutes, 30.63 seconds).