AVON – It had been a few minutes since Avon’s Marc Robaczynski had received his medal for winning the 10th annual Avon Road Race. But there was another task he needed to fulfill. One of his daughters wanted to get to the playground to play with their friends.
“As you get older, it’s not all about us anymore,” Robaczynski said Sunday morning with a big grin before happily heading to the playground.
Robaczynski won the 3.1 mile race for the second straight year. His time of 16:11.88 was about a second off his race record pace of a year ago. Avon’s Nicola Beretta was second in 17:00.63 and Bill Brosmith of West Hartford was third in 17:59.45.
On the woman’s side, Mary Lynn Currier of Burlington won the race for the seventh time in 10 years with a time of 18:49.83. Avon’s McKenzie Piehl, 13, was second in 22:13.23. Jessica Bettencourt of Avon finished third in 22:56.
Two of Robaczynski’s daughters attend Pine Grove School, where the race begins and finishes. Pine Grove’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) sponsors the race and proceeds benefit the PTO.
Robaczynski’s daugher Sabrina ran in her first 5K (five kilometer, 3.1 mile race) along with several of her classmates.
Sabrina’s fourth grade teacher Barbara Ruocco encourages her students to run, cheer on the participants or make signs for the race. If enough students participate, there is an ice cream party in class. “It might be the ice cream,” Ruocco admitted, explaining the student’s interest in the race.
Ruocco is a runner and she ran in the race, earning a second place medal in her age division. Some of her students ran, too, and won medals in their age division. Others cheered on their classmates and their teacher.
“It’s a good community event,” Robaczynski said. “It’s great to see the kids go out there, be athletic and do their best.” About 250 runners participated in the race, including dozens of students. There was about another 50 that ran in the 1-mile fun run.
And afterwards, the playscape alongside Pine Grove School was crowded with youngsters scampering around with their friends, sharing stories about the race in the morning sunshine.