TOWNSHEND >> On the morning of May 7, a cheerful group of friends and neighbors converged on the Townshend Common for the 7th Annual Grace Cottage "Spring into Health" 5K walk and run, a benefit for the local community hospital. More than 100 people ran or walked the course, and plenty more were on hand as volunteers and cheering fans.
Mike Owens of Wardsboro was the top place finisher with a time of 18:32 followed by top female runner Tammy Richards of Williamsville who came in at 18:48. The youngest runner was 7-year-old Hailey Richards and the "most experienced" was the inspirational Sylvia Kinney of Newfane. Complete race results are available at www.gracecottage.org/events.
Special recognition goes to local volunteer firefighters Nathan Parent and James Gallagher (South Londonderry Fire Department) and Evan Lackey (Saxtons River Fire Department), who ran the race in full uniform in honor of Steven Lapierre of St. Albans, and Richard Sheltra of North Carolina — two fireman killed in the line of duty the week before the event.
Grace Cottage thanks principle corporate sponsor, People's United Bank, for its generous support of the event; Cota & Cota for coming out and fueling our runners with water after the race; and to Drew's All Natural which has been donating delicious salsa and salad dressing as raffle prizes since the event's inception seven years ago.
Additional thanks are extended to Blue Mountain Produce, Smith Family Maple, Big Picture Farm, Townshend Select Board, Leland & Gray High School, Vermont State Police, Rescue Inc., Perry Phoenix, Ralph Sherman, and the Townshend Church.
"I would like to personally thank the committee who was involved in putting this event together, as well as the volunteers who provided their time and made the event go smoothly," said Race Director Dr. Moss Linder. "While much of our job here at Grace Cottage Family Health and Hospital is caring for patients, it's great to having this opportunity to get outside and promote wellness in our community."
The Spring into Health 5K is held annually on the Saturday of Mother's Day Weekend.