By Jessica Reynolds Contributing Writer
The Daily Star
---- — While competitive runners battled it out during the 20th annual “Pit” Run, the accompanying two-mile stroll gave more than 250 people a more laid-back way to participate in Sunday’s events in Oneonta.
The stroll, which began at 10:45 a.m. after the 10K and 5K races, drew families, groups and individuals of varying ages. The strollers began their promenade in Neahwa Park, the hub of the day’s events, then turned west at the intersection of Main Street and Lettis Highway, and closed the loop by making their way back to the park.
Upon crossing the finish line, participants joined runners in a celebration that included Brooks’ barbecue, music, and face painting for children.
Madison Himes, whose face was painted with a bright green turtle, said she was excited to have participated in the event with her family.
“We even jogged a couple times!” Himes said. “It was fun.”
The 9-year-old was accompanied by her father, who said he carried his 5-year-old daughter most of the way.
Madison’s mother said her daughter has participated in the events since she was in a stroller. The happy little participant said she enjoyed the walk and would like to join in the 5K next year with her mother, who ran it this year.
Renee Fairgrieve, who walked in the Two mile stroll with her family, said she couldn’t count the number of times she had participated in the Pit Run events. However, she experienced it a bit differently, with a growing pregnant belly.
“It was a challenge,’ Fairgrieve said of this year’s event. “I had to take a pit stop to go to the bathroom! But it was fun.”
Another family who participated in the stroll included a group with children ranging in age from 4 to 10. Led by mom Amanda Thomas, the little crew made the trek with the smallest children hitching a ride in a small red wagon.
More than 1,091 people participated in the 2013 events, which included a children’s “Fun Run.” The streets of Oneonta were filled with supportive bystanders and it was evident that the participators were enjoying themselves.
Lisa Parisian, niece of Ricky J. “Pit” Parisian, helped organize the event. She and her father, Steve Parisian, said that the day, which is the culmination of yearlong planning, turned out wonderfully.
“People from all over came out. My family from Washington is running today.” Lisa Parisian said. “We have a great board and committee and there’s been an awesome turnout and support from the community. And we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day.”