The inaugural Doc Whitney 5K race for participants 65 and older was filled with surprises.
First, five track records were broken, Janet Volpert came in at 24:01 in the women 60-69 group; Monica Roche, crossed the line at 29:11, breaking the record for the women 70-79 age group; in the 80-89 age group, Bob Davidson, beat the previous record with 32:39 and Betty Holroyd made history with her 43:41 finish; Finally Bill Tribou, who had an impressive showing at the Chilly Chili Run in January, broke the record for the Men 90-99 age group with a time of 37:31.
Organizer Chris Dickerson, owner of the Woodbridge Running Company, said 45 seniors had pre-registered for the race and on race day an additional 10 men and women had signed up.
The runners ranged in age from 65 (one celebrated his birthday with the race) up to the oldest — sponsor George “Doc” Whitney, 92.
Aside from a spill by one runner at the starting line, the race went on without a hitch, following the familiar route of the Chilly Chili Run.
Instead of a gun blast or shrill whistle, the race started with the strangely comforting sound of the blowing of a conch shell.
Instead of trophies, the winners received different prizes, such as, flowers donated by First Selectman Jim Zeoli; Entenmann’s Coffee Cakes; and star shaped photo frames.
The participants were enthusiastic about the race and most said they plan to return next year.