The cold spring morning brought out 225 runners and walkers of all ages and dozens more spectators to the Press Box on East First Street where the start and finish line were set up for an 8:30 take off. “The event exceeded all expectations,” noted Race Director and OCATF member Julie Chetney. “This event is a true testament of the strength of the Autism community in our area.”
Following the race and awards ceremony, a “Breakfast of Autism Champions” was served to those who wanted to refuel or simply support the cause. The top male finisher was Frederick Crimmins with a time of 18:58, and top female finisher was Jessica Leonard with a time of 21:12.
Organizers stated that the overwhelming support of all those at the event was heartwarming. “People were coming up to us all morning thanking us for doing this, some in tears, some just simply grateful to be out supporting the cause in their community, and others looking to be a sponsor next year,” Chetney stated.
Support of the event also came by way of business sponsors. These sponsored included; The Beacon Hotel, Zink Shirts, Eagle Beverage, The Press Box, GS Steamers, Auyer Timing, Ontario Orchards, C’s Farm Market, and Lupien’s Engraving.
The success of the event certainly leads way to plans for next year’s run/walk that the Task force hopes to see grow in numbers given this year’s participation. All of the timed results can be viewed at www.auyertiming.com