Over 600 people registered and ran to help support St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy in Greenpoint.
The race, which is in its 19th year, raised money for the academy as well as the St. Stan’s Athletic League and its sports programs, which serve about 400 children each year.
The overall men’s winner title went to Nini Benbouzid, while the overall women’s winner was Marie Barnett.
“It’s a record, we had close to 500 finishes,” said Frank Carbone, founder of the race and athletic director at St. Joseph’s College, the title sponsor of the race. “Generally we average in the 400 range, but I think the combination of it being a beautiful day and more people becoming aware of what we’re doing has worked well for us.”
Participants ran, walked, jogged and even jump-roped their way around the course, which started at Newell Street and Driggs Avenue, near St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, and continued through to Kent Street, Manhattan Avenue and Norman Avenue before ending at Humboldt Street.
Many participants of the run hailed from the St Stan’s Athletic League and the local North Brooklyn Runners Club. Others, like Caitlyn Kakavas of Bayside and Jan Rogowski of Woodside and who both attend St. Joseph’s college, ran to support the academy, where they sometimes volunteer.
“It’s a pleasure to run with local friends, the race is awesome,” said John Slaski, a Greenpoint resident who ran with NBR and has participated every year in the race since its inception. “I think it’s great, all along the course people are out on the street cheering and it’s always been that way since the start. I’d like to think it makes them want to get involved a little.”
The race was originally founded as a way to make money for the parish’s sports program and Carbone has kept that concept for the last few years, but now that times have changed, he said the concept of the race needed to change with it.
“With the way Catholic education now needs a little bit of a boost, we felt it was most appropriate to focus our energies on trying to raise some money for the school,” he said. “From now on we’re going to keep that concept.”
The race also received support in the form of donations and sponsorship from the Greenpoint YMCA, Metrofuel Oil, St. Nick’s Alliance and the Greenpoint Lions Club.
“We want this to be more of the premier family event,” said Carbone. “Most races are targeted at serious runners, but we want to try to accommodate both crowds. We want to have the serious runners have a good race and we want people from anywhere, we don’t care who you are, how old you are, come on out and have a good time with us.”
For Karen Stevenson and her family, every year the race is a family affair not to be missed.
“I was part of St. Stan’s as a kid. It’s nice after 19 years to see people that you hung out with and to see them come back with their families and friends,” she said.
Her daughter, five-year-old Makayla Stevenson, won third place in her age’s division and her son, Matthew Stevenson, won first place for his age group.
For more information on the race visit www.greenpoint5k.com.