By EJ Yennie
When planning Katy’s Courage 5K, Tom O’Donoghue was told that expecting 1000 runners for an inaugural race was unlikely. By the closing of the pre-registration at 3 o’clock on Friday, 937 had signed up. With only 1000 bib numbers, they scrambled to get another 400 bibs and Saturday morning registered another 400 runners; they then signed up between 400 and 500 additional runners who participated without numbers. The race director estimated between 1700 and 1800 runners participated in total.
Mike Semkus, 23, of Sag Harbor was the overall winner with a time of 17:48. He commented “I haven’t been running much, but after the first mile, I thought I could win. I knew most of the volunteers so I felt good because people were cheering for me.”
In second was Ross Kadri, 18, of East Hampton, in 18:06. Luis Ramires, 20, of Water Mill came in third with a time of 18:08. The first place woman was Laura Brown, 43, of Westhampton in 19:19. In second place was Kathryn Hess, 16, of East Hampton. Alexandra Copeland, 39, of Brooklyn took third in 20:50. Additional results can be found on line at Island Timing.
The goal, of raising $20,000 to go towards an annual scholarship in memory of Katy Stewart, was easily met. Although all the final figures are not yet in, O’Donoghue estimates that the profits were easily triple of what he had initially hoped for. He attributes this to both the number of runners and the generosity of the sponsors.
“It’s an annual event; we will do it again next year” declared O’Donoghue.
Although it was a fund raiser, O’Donoghue is adamant that he wants it to be a race as well. By offering cash prizes to the top winners, he hopes to attract a serious crowd of runners in the future, as well as a core group who are willing to run for charity. His next endeavor is to get a group of 40 runners to run as a team in the Hampton Half Marathon in the fall, raising money to fight childhood cancer as well.