FISHBEIN ROAD RACE: Rain comes down, but numbers are up as race joins Celebrate Wallingford

FISHBEIN ROAD RACE: Rain comes down, but numbers are up as race joins Celebrate Wallingford


WALLINGFORD — Sunday morning was a wet one for Wallingford residents. It was especially wet for the 500 runners who hit the pavement for the Wallingford YMCA’s Fishbein Road Race.

That didn’t stop the field, up 150 from last year, from competing in the annual 5K and 10K races that, for the first time, were married up with Celebrate Wallingford.

The male and female winners for the 5K event were both from Wallingford, Brian Oliveira and Laney Teaford. Oliveira, a 17-year-old senior at Lyman Hall, finished with a time of 17:40. Oliveira came in ahead of Cheshire’s John Snow (18:01) and Lyman Hall teammate Alexandre Fishbein-Ouimette (18:05).

The 21-year-old Teaford finished fourth overall in 19:30, five seconds ahead of runner-up Liz Fengler of Wallingford.

“I ran this race a few years ago, but this was the first time I won,” said Oliveira, who runs for the Lyman Hall cross country and track teams. “There’s always a few hundred people that come out for this and it’s cool to see the same people every year for the event.”

For the 10K, the men’s winner was Riley O’Connell, 21, of Wallingford. Another Wallingford resident, 25-year-old Frankie Brillante, was the women’s winner in 41:18.

The race added to the events of Celebrate Wallingford. Pairing the two events not only helped improve the turnout, it made the race less hectic for runners, who didn’t have to worry about traffic thanks to road closures.

“Celebrate Wallingford is an event where they shut down the streets in the center of town and everyone comes out for that event,” said Sally Darrow, the Senior Director of Membership and Wellness for the Wallingford YMCA. “I think tying our race into that took it up a notch because it’s a town-wide event with lots of excitement going on.”

Along with competing in either the 5K or 10K, runners were divided into subdivisions based on age and gender. Prizes were awarded to the top three male and femel overall finishers in both events.

The 5K field included 91-year-old Betty Holroyd of Wallingford. Holroyd stays in shape by swimming twice a week and exercising daily. She enjoys running with her granddaughters as well. She was undeterred by Sunday’s weather conditions.

“We’ve done the Fishbein event for years and years and it’s a great. It’s a wonderful family race,” said Holroyd. “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my daughter. She kind of spurs me on all the time.”

The 10K field included Wallingford resident Nancy Hutton, who finished in just over an hour.

“I ran the 5K last year and this is my second year running in this race,” said Hutton. “I did as I expected. I was hoping to come in a little bit faster, but not too bad. The hill at the end was a little tough. The rain was actually nice, though. It helped keep things cool.”

Proceeds from Sunday’s race go to Live Strong, the Wallingford YMCA program that helps cancer survivors achieve a healthy well-being following their battle with the disease.

“From sponsorships alone we raised around $30,000,” said Darrow. “The race registration goes into that, too. So, in total, around $40,000 [was raised]. But we’re still tallying the last results.”


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