Children seemed to outnumber adults crossing the finish line at the second annual Katy’s Courage 5K in Sag Harbor on Saturday, which was a fitting visual considering the reason for the race.
More than 1,000 people—adults, children, teenagers, grandparents, mothers and fathers pushing strollers, and even dogs—participated in the 3.1-mile race honoring the memory of Katy Stewart, who died at the age of 12 in December 2010 following a battle with hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer. Stewart was a Sag Harbor resident and attended Sag Harbor Elementary School. Her father, Jim Stewart, is a teacher at East Hampton High School, and her mother, Brigid Collins, is the assistant principal at the Montauk School.
More than $30,000 was raised during the event, organizers said this week.
Richard Temerian, 53, was the winner, in 17:32 (5:39 mile pace), followed by Kiernan Kelly (17:34, 5:40), Matt Connors (17:42, 5:43), Jason Hancock (17:43, 5:43), Brian Marcinack (17:54, 5:46), Mike Semkus (18:06, 5:50), Fiachra Hallissey (18:10, 5:52), Doug Milano (18:24, 5:56), Mike Bahel (18:27, 5:57), and Erik Engstrom (18:29, 5:58).
Sinead Fitzgibbon was the first female to cross the finish line, taking 17th overall, in 19:33 (6:18). She was followed directly by Barbara Gubbins (19:33, 6:19).
For complete results, visit island-timing.com.
While there were several speedy runners who crossed the finish line ahead of the pack on a blustery but sunny Saturday, the majority of the participants in the race were there to show their support for the Stewart family and Katy’s Courage, the foundation created in her honor. According to Brigid Stewart, funds from the race will be split between three areas: scholarships for East End high school students, pediatric cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and plans to build a bereavement center on the East End for families struggling with cancer. Mr. Stewart and Ms. Collins were inspired to build a local bereavement center after visiting a bereavement center in Texas after Katy’s death.
The East End community certainly showed its support for the Stewart/Collins family on Saturday. High school athletes from Pierson and East Hampton participated in the race, most notably members of the East Hampton boys lacrosse team, who crossed the finish line in droves wearing their practice jerseys. Friends and classmates of Katy Stewart participated in the race and stood by the finish line after they were done to cheer on the rest of the competitors. Co-workers and colleagues of both Mr. Stewart and Ms. Collins ran in the race, and several faculty members from the Montauk School made special T-shirts to show their support.
Pink was the color of the day, another homage to Stewart—it was her favorite color. Runners received medals with a pink ribbon and a photo of a blue-eyed ladybug on the medallion. Katy Stewart loved ladybugs ever since she was dressed as one for Halloween when she was 2 years old, her mother said after the race.
For more information on Katy’s Courage, visit katyscourage.org.