After digging out, SEA 5K gets going

Snow postpones race by one day; DES regains agency team title

SEA member and Chapter 10 Secretary Amy O'Brien poses for a photo with her son Aiden after the race on Sunday. Both Amy and Aiden have lost 100 pounds and it was their first 5K they've run together.

SEA member and Chapter 10 Secretary Amy O’Brien poses for a photo with her son Aiden after the race on Sunday. Both Amy and Aiden have lost 100 pounds and it was their first 5K they’ve run together.

Not much stops road runners from hitting the pavement, even if it’s covered in snow. But the timing of last weekend’s Nor’easter proved a bit too worrisome for organizers of the SEA 5K, leading to a one-day postponement.

When the race stepped off on Sunday morning, the field was only slightly smaller than usual, but the times were just as fast as previous years. Colton Ham, of Dublin, was the top overall finisher with a time of 16:04. The top female finisher was Corey Dowe, of Barrington. The top state employee finisher was Dan Hrobak, whose 10th place finish helped lead his team, DES, to the state agency title. For Steve Landry, who heads up the DES team, the agency win was a return to glory after losing to DHHS last year.

“Happy would be an understatement, I’d say it’s euphoria,” Landry said of the win. “I think we had 12 first place finishes in a row up until last year, when DHHS bested us. They had a great team, and they earned it, but it was devastating. We take great pride in this.”

Landry, who’s gearing up for another go at the Boston Marathon next week, finished 20th overall. He finished just behind his friend and running partner, Matt Cahillane of DHHS. While Cahillane will have bragging rights for the individual performance, Landry said it’s all about the team.

“There’s a great camaraderie and competition about this race,” Landry said. “I’m proud of every person that showed up from DES to run or walk because it showed we have great agency support.”

The SEA 5K was created nearly a quarter century ago as part of a state employee appreciation week, so the team element has always been a part of it. SEA members representing many different agencies took part Sunday, including the Liquor Commission, Lottery Commission, Information Technology, Transportation, and even the town of Derry. Since the race is part of the CARS race series, it also draws great runners from around the region. The more the merrier, because the race benefits a great cause: Operation Santa Claus.

Amy O’Brien, of Liquor Enforcement, is new to running but has plenty of experience with Operation Santa Claus.

“OSC is very near and dear to my heart — I’ve been a part of it for many years,” O’Brien said. “Whether I was running or walking, I would have done this. I like to support the cause.”

After the race, O’Brien snapped a photo with her son Aiden, who was running in his first 5K. She and her son have each lost more than 100 pounds, so the finish was especially meaningful.

“It was very exciting for us,” O’Brien said. “I’m just thrilled about it.”

As always, we thank all of our sponsors, runners, walkers, and especially volunteers who help make this event possible. This year in particular, we thank everyone for their flexibility in working with a rescheduled race.

You can find complete results for the 2017 SEA 5K here.

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