GRAY – Nearly 300 runners and walkers lined up Saturday at St. Gregory’s Church in Gray for the 1st running of the Patriot 5K “Lap around the Lake.”

Lonnie Reny of Gray set the winning pace with a time of 16:53, while 12-year-old Kristina Smith of Raymond made an impressive showing to take first-place female with a time of 20:33.

The 3.1-mile course took the runners on a scenic route following the shoreline of Crystal Lake. Earlier in the day, nearly 100 boys and girls ran in the half-mile kids’ fun run while Crusher from the Maine Red Claws and Oakie from Oakhurst Dairy cheered them on and handed out medals and water bottles to all the finishers. Participants later soaked up the sun and filled up on free refreshments. The race’s lead sponsor, Shad Hall, of Shad’s Custom Countertops, handed out awards, and emcee Joe Bedard kept the atmosphere festive with some great music.

The event was put together by the Patriot Parents as a fundraiser for Gray and New Gloucester schools. It netted nearly $9,000 for the cause. Co-race directors Mike Smith and Tim Anketell say they plan to make the race an annual event and expect it to get bigger and better every year.

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