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AME dash draws 253 runners

The first-place runner Jonathan Hufty of Bradenton crosses the finish line at the Dolphin Dash 5k run.

Runners in the fifth annual Dolphin Dash take off at the start of the Jan. 15 race at Anna Maria Elementary School, 4700 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. The 5k race and a fun walk-run that followed raised money for AME’s PTO. Islander Photos: Lisa Neff

Runner Cullen McRae stretches before the annual 5k Dolphin Dash at Anna Maria Elementary School on Jan. 15. To see more images from the event, go to or visit The Islander’s Facebook page.

Dolphin Dash runners get their instructions before they take their marks for the 5k race that began at Anna Maria Elementary School.

Race organizer Becky Walter, right, of the Anna Maria Elementary School PTO registers runners for the annual event, which took pavement-pounders from Anna Maria Elementary School through the streets of downtown Holmes Beach and then back to the campus.

Volunteers register runners for the annual Dolphin Dash Jan. 15 at Anna Maria Elementary School in Holmes Beach.

Tom Orehowsky of the Bradenton Runners Club leads Dolphin Dash participants in the national anthem before the start of the 5k race.

The Dolphin Dash included runners and walkers.

Holmes Beach resident Chris Pate crosses the finish line in the Dolphin Dash, placing third in the 5k race Jan. 15.

Runners congratulate each other on top-place finishes in the Jan. 15 Dolphin Dash at AME.

Kristin Zarrella of Lakewood Ranch High School is the first female to cross the finish line.

Tom Orehowsky of the Bradenton Runners Club prepares for the start of the 5k race.

The Anna Maria Elementary School’s fifth annual Dolphin Dash drew its largest number of runners ever with 253 participating in the Jan. 15 school fundraising event.

Race organizer Becky Walter said a large number of students, alumni and teachers participated this year. The youngest student to run in the 5k dash through downtown Holmes Beach was 6-year old Eli Heskin.

“Eli has been a super star of running club and finished the race in 28 minutes 3 seconds, which is unbelievable,” said Walter.

The oldest racer was Walter White, who at age 85 finished the race in 38 minutes 3 seconds.

Walter said there were more participants in the 1-mile fun run/walk than the 5k this year and attributes some of the growth in participants to members of the Bradenton Runners Club, who are now able to earn club points for completing the race.

The proceeds from the race go to the AME Parent-Teacher Organization’s general fund.

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