First Responders 5K welcomed back to the village

5 Sep

In-person racing came back to Webster on Friday night when the First Responders 5K returned to the village after a one-year, covid-induced hiatus.

More than 200 men, women and children of all ages wound their way through the 3.1-mile course that took runners from the Webster Firemen’s Field, through east-side village neighborhoods and back. And like anything else that happens in our village, it was another great example of the kind of caring, supportive community we have here.

It was a perfect late-summer night for a run; cool and sunny, much MUCH better than the humid days we’ve recently experienced. The race began at 6:30 p.m. on the south side of Firemen’s Field on Ebner Dr. There, under the Fleet Feet archway bearing the huge First Responders 5K banner, 227 runners and walkers of all shapes and sizes streamed across the start line when the order to “GOOOOOO!” was broadcast loudly through the speakers.

I was one of those runners, huffing and puffing alongside my good friend Dave Nicchitta, who kindly agreed (after much needling) to run the race with me. I had a lot of fun running with my friend, but even more than that, I was so proud to show off my village.

From the very beginning of the race and all through the neighborhoods, families were sitting in their front yards or standing along the road, clapping and cheering the runners, yelling encouraging comments and ringing cowbells. My husband and some friends set up a water and beer refreshment stand in the driveway, which was a popular stop near the end of the race.

And the volunteers? There were so many of them, one stationed at every intersection to guide the runners — and there were a lot of intersections and turns in those neighborhoods. Not to mention the Special Police, who managed the traffic along busy South Ave. during the race.

As I passed by one runner on the route, we chatted briefly and she told me how impressed she was with the route, how well the race was organized, and especially, how many volunteer race marshals there were. I simply told her, “Well, this is Webster.”

Thank you to everyone who helped make this race happen. For many of us, it was the first in-person race we’ve run in more than a year and a half. Thank you also to all those who participated. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the FRST Agency, a local charity that provides support, awareness, assets, and services to first responders seeking assistance in dealing with the effects of PTSD.

Click here to see a gallery of photos from the race which my husband and I took, and visit the Fleet Feet Rochester Facebook page to see a much bigger gallery of much better photos taken by Mary White (of Turkey Trot photography fame).

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