Runners braved hills and chilly temperatures for Saturday’s Not a Walk in the Park 5k at Breakheart Reservation to benefit YMCA of Metro North scholarships.
“We had a record turnout with 315 runners across seven age divisions,” Saugus YMCA Health and Wellness Director David Colarossi said.
Runners spoke to the The Saugus Advocate about why they decided to participate.
New Bedford resident Michael Grasela placed first with a time of 18:20. “I grew up going to the Y, “Grassela said. “I learned how to swim there and made fun memories.”
Gloucester resident Fabian Mejorada placed second with a time of 19:09. “A Cape Ann YMCA member, I wanted to give back to the community,” Mejorada said. “I ran the race with my brother Raul Alejandro.” He runs 100 miles a month, averaging seven minutes per mile.
Third place winner Jesse Belding, who averages a five-minute mile, said he wanted to support the Y.
According to Communications and Marketing Vice President Sandy St. Louis, this race will be followed by the Demakes Family YMCA’s Stride Along the Tide 5k at Nahant Lowlands Park on May 13, the Melrose Family YMCA’s Spooky Sprint in Downtown Melrose on October 28 and the Torigian Family YMCA’s Livestrong at the Y 5k at Ross Park in Peabody on November 18. The Road Race Series attracts 1,500 participants annually and raises $80,000 for the YMCA of Metro North. Proceeds from each race support financial assistance for children and families in YMCA of Metro North programs. The YMCA of Metro North provides more than $1.6 million in assistance each year.