Pumpkin run draws 1,000-plus participants in 25th year (SLIDESHOW)
The Great Pumpkin Classic celebrated its quarter-century birthday in style at Trumbull High School Sunday, Oct. 18.
More than 1,000 residents from Trumbull and the surrounding communities — and even some participants coming from as far as Texas — joined in the race activities on a cold, New England morning.
With temperatures in the 30's at the start of the day, hats and gloves were worn by many as the kid’s fun run kicked things off on the high school track at 8:30 a.m.. That event was followed by the two-mile walk and the 5K pumpkin run.
The race, started and organized by Marty Shaivone and M.S Running Productions since 1991, raises money for college scholarships for THS students.
Shaivone, a retired THS Science teacher had helped out at Trumbull high with organizing proms and other school functions prior to his retirement. He decided to lend a hand to the race, and it’s become a fall mainstay in the community over the last 25 years.
The first year, the pumpkin run had 385 finishers, which was one of the largest first-time races. It grew to the high 900's in the late 90s, and now averages between 500-600 runners in addition to walkers and participants in the kid’s fun run.
All 5K finishers received commemorative medals thanks to Sound View Communications Media Inc. and there was plenty of food for all in the THS cafeteria after the race.
In the kid’s fun run, which is for children ages nine and younger, Trumbull resident Caitlyn Dale won in girl’s category with a time of 26:43, beating out her sister, Loralai Dale, who finished the race with a time of 27:22. New Canaan’s Emy Colliss finished third with a time of 27:38.
In the boy’s category, a pair of Trumbull residents, Jaden Buchetto and Walter Wilthrow, finished second and third, respectively, behind Middlebury’s Owen Martin.
Trumbull runners dominated in the 10-13 age bracket with Allie Palmieri beating out Jacqueline Dale and Brenna Sara in the girl’s category with a time of 22:58. Joseph Gregory topped James Griffin and Lance Walsh in the boy’s category with a time of 21:02.
In the next age group, 14 to 18 years old, runners from out of state dominated as Tama Zander-Velloso and Gabriel Rojas of Illinois won the female and male categories with times of 20:50 and 18:45, respectively. An Ann Arbor, Michigan native, Schirin Rangnick finished in second in the female category with a time of 20:50 beating Kale Halabi of Darien who finished with a time of 21:41.
In the male category, Trumbull runners Samuel Micinilio and Latrell Margaff finished second and third behind Rojas.
Trumbull competitors failed to earn a top three finish in the 19 to 29 age group in both the female and male competitions with Helen Gallogly of New Haven and Ian Spear of Illinois finishing in first place.
In the 30 to 39 year old category, Trumbull resident Jim McCaffery finished first amongst the male competition, beating Joe Domogala of Milford and Andrew Reed of Trumbull with a time of 18:22.
Trumbull runner Melissa Sakowich finished third in the female competition with a time of 23:32.
It was a clean Trumbull sweep in the top three spots for female runners competing in the 40-49 age group.
Christine Asaro recorded a winning timing of 23:10 beating out Kellie Ryan Quimete and Margaret Walsh, who finished 23:26 and 24:15, respectively.
Rob Morray of Danbury finished in 17 minutes and 22 seconds to beat out the male competition in that age bracket.
In the 50 to 59 age category, Trumbull residents Katz Johnson and Lisa Romanchick finished in first and second place with respective times of 23:19 and 23:44.
Oscar Gonzalez Barrett of New York finished in the top spot amongst male runners in that age group with a time of 17:44 — more than a minute faster than the second and third place finishers.
In the older running categories, Sharon Vos of Greenwich and Ron Allen of Texas won in the 60 to 69 age bracket, while Monica Roche of Fairfield and Richard Demarco won in the 70 to 79 age category.
Trumbull resident Carlton Lloyd finished third in that category amongst male runners with a time of 32:48.
Tony Medelros of Rhode Island completed the race in 43 minutes and 28 seconds — the oldest competitor to finish, running in the men’s 80 to 89 year old category.