200-plus runners race in AME-PTO Dolphin Dash

It was a crisp morning as runners took their marks first for the 13th annual Dolphin Dash 5K and then the 1-Mile Fun Run.

People gathered in the parking lot early on Jan. 19 at Anna Maria Elementary School, 4700 Gulf Drive, to register and receive race numbers and event T-shirts.

AME students, novices and experienced runners alike raced their way through the streets of Holmes Beach in the 5K and fun run.

Event director Kelly Gitt said proceeds will benefit the AME Parent-Teacher Organization.

The 5K began at 8 a.m., after volunteer race coordinator Tom Orehowsky, of the sponsoring Bradenton Runners Club, explained the rules and the route. He blew a blast of an air horn to start the race.

In less than 20 minutes, the first runners began returning to the start to cross the finish line. Corey Peyerk, a board member for the club, came in as the first overall male winner with a time of 18:46, while former island resident Wendy Hudson of Apollo Beach finished as the fastest woman with a time of 21:11.

AME student Luke Winsper, 10, was the first male youth to cross the finish line in the 5K, with a time of 23:25, and Tampa resident Alison Diny, 9, finished first with a time of 26:29 among the young female runners.

Next came the 1-Mile Fun Run, where youngsters — many of them AME students — took off in a sprint. Kellen Hunt, 6, crossed the finish line first in under 8 minutes.

After the races, Orehowsky presented trophies and medals to winners at the AME campus.

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