Clinton Santoro and Trina Painter took home prize money at the 2006 Payson Area Habitat for Humanity 5K Run/Walk, but it might have been the 58 young runners who were the real winners.
"We have all ages out here learning about physical fitness," said youth race director Wayne Gorry. "They will learn (fitness) skills that hopefully will last them a lifetime."
Gorry, a fourth-grade teacher at Julia Randall Elementary School and state mountain biking champ, spearheaded the drive to make the first PAHH one-mile youth run a success.
Many of the students in his class participated in the run and some took the time to visit other elementary schools before the event to encourage students to participate.
"We rode our bicycles to the other schools, got in a little fitness training while trying to get others involved," Gorry said.
The adult 5K drew a field of 155 runners, including 80-year-old Ray Kinsman who finished the 3.1-mile event in 91st place (38:51).
Santoro, the overall male winner, took the lead at the starting line and held in throughout. He was clocked in 17:22, about 17 seconds faster that runner up Jim Prescott. Santoro competed in the 30- 39-years age group.
Painter, the female champion, finished in 17:54.
Rim Country Middle School eighth grader Joshua Frewin turned in an effort that should have had cross-country coach Chuck Hardt doing cartwheels over the teen's potential. Frewin finished ninth overall in 20:59. Frewin will be a PHS freshman next season. Unfortunately for the cross-country team, Frewin is also an accomplished soccer player and says because soccer and cross-country are conducted during the same fall season, he'll choose soccer.
Following the run, the entrants and their families settled in for a pancake breakfast prepared by the Knights of Columbus.
All proceeds benefit PAHH.