One hundred forty participants laced up their running shoes and took a 3.1-mile trek around Kings Point on Sunday as part of the Stepping Stones Lighthouse 5K.
“Once again there was a terrific turnout and everything went like clockwork,” said Bob Lincoln, commissioner of the Great Neck Park District. “It’s a very pleasant event, and it makes you feel great when people turn out for an event that hard-working individuals spent time putting together for an important cause.”
The 5K began at Stepping Stones Park in Kings Point, with the route going down Redbrook Road running parallel to Kings Point Park. From there, runners and walkers passed Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink and continued down West Shore Road, with the last landmark being the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy before they reached the finish line at Stepping Stones Park.
A 17-year-old Great Neck resident, Jan Kaluta, won the event. Kaluta finished with a time of 17:38, which equals a 5:41-minute mile pace.
Aside from the top three male and female contestants, awards were presented to the top three in 14 age categories for each gender, with a four-year range.
Medals and Tate’s cookies were awarded to top contestants, and raffles featured prizes including heart rate monitors, automatic entries to other 5K events on the island, and of course, more cookies.
The event was spearheaded by the Great Neck Park District, the historical society and Event Power Long Island, with plenty of help from other community groups and organizations, Lincoln said.
“There was so much organizational support that was immensely appreciated by myself and the entire staff,” he said. “I can’t forget to mention the support of JFK Elementary School. They have played a pivotal role since the first year of this event, and I can’t thank them enough.”
Though no final tallies have been calculated, Lincoln estimated that run registration and sponsorship efforts brought in around $6,500. Though roughly the same amount of sponsors were featured this year, the event was able to attract new ones such as Lynx Mortgage Bank LLC.
“As residents of Great Neck we always look for opportunities to help give back and enhance the community,” said Lynx President Zahra Jafri. “When the 5K came to our attention we saw no better opportunity then to sponsor the race to help restore such a monumental landmark. We look forward to staying involved for years to come.”
According to Lincoln, funds raised will go toward construction at the Stepping Stones Lighthouse, where the dock has already had work done in the last month.
“It’s a very expensive project,” Lincoln explained. “$6,500 is a small drop in the bucket. But it is one of the most important drops in the bucket. This event shows the value of restoring something historic, and it’s great to see so many people excited about it. We hope to get more of the same next year.”
Photos and race results can be found on eventpowerli.com/stepping_stone_5k/.