NORWALK, Conn. – The 16th annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial Nine-Mile Race at Calf Pasture Beach drew 146 runners in its quest to help young people find their own passion, such as running, rather than turning to drugs.
Ginger Katz, who founded the race with her husband, Larry, said it is “bittersweet” for her, as her son Ian used to work at the beach for Norwalk Parks and Recreation. Her son, Ian, died in 1996 due to a drug overdose.
First-place runner was Lemy Arias, 27, with a time of 56:22. Arias’ cousin Henry Pavon, 26, took second with a time of 57:27. Both are Bridgeport residents.
First-place female was Elizabeth Thomas, 39, of Silver Springfield, Md., with a time of 1:05:31. Thomas works for the National Institute of Drug Addiction.
Each year, to encourage youths to stay away from drugs and find positive activities, an award is given to the youngest runner. This year, it was Jonathan Tinker, 16, of Trumbull, who finished 19th in the race, with a time of 1:06:32.
Tinker said he decided to run after hearing Ginger Katz speak at his school, Side by Side. At the time, he was living in Norwalk and said he was struck by her emotional presentation.
The race was held on Saturday, Aug. 9.
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