Lake Helen’s Christmas Eve Stressbuster 5K brought 550 people together — only 13 less than the year before — for the annual run-for-fun event. Well, most of them were together. Some 100 took part in a virtual version of the event.
To maintain COVID-19 preventative measures, hand-washing and sanitizing stations were accessible through the event, and racers were staggered.
The regular 5K ran at 8 a.m., while a free kids run started at 9 a.m.
Josh Ebert of Titusville, came in as the top male finisher at 20:43; Becky Dougherty of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, was the top female finisher at 20:49.
N. O’Donnell, 9, of Lake Helen, was the top male finisher in the 9-and-under group, with a time of 27:03.3, and M. Slaton of Odessa, age 8, was the top female youth finisher at 36:19.2.
“I had folks, over a dozen out of towners, approach me thanking the city for providing this venue. Some said it was a much needed mental, emotional, and physical activity,” Lake Helen Mayor Daisy Raisler said.
“Residents were eager to get back out there — all while being aware of social distancing and wearing masks — but eager to finish the year in a race back to normalcy,” City Commissioner Kelly Frasca, who helped coordinate the event.
Proceeds from the race are put towards a fund for parks and playgrounds improvement.
— Eli Witek