WARRENSBURG - While runners in North Creek's annual Race the Train event ran to surpass their own goals, the race itself Saturday set a record with the largest number of participants ever, officials said.
A total of 315 runners registered for the 2009 event, versus 268 enrolled last summer, event organizer Ann Arsenault said.
"For a long time, 300 has been our goal, and this year we beat it and we're thrilled," she said, noting the record attendance was unexpected as the event was held on the same day as a well-known footrace in Saratoga Springs.
Sunny skies and relatively cool, dry air contributed to a picture-perfect day for running, Arsenault said.
Another record was set too, with the youngest-ever racer, Anthony Parillo of Ballston Spa, finishing the race with an admirable 1:19:55 time.
Most of the youth, however, participated in Race the Train's non-competitive Family Fun Run, which had 54 participants. The race was open to children up to the age of 10, Arsenault said.
"It was fun to see excitement of little ones, with expressions of joy on their faces, receiving medals," she said.
Spectators, a group 117 strong, rode the train and watched the competitive runners along their route. The runners who beat the train received a medal with a gold ribbon, and those that didn't, the standard blue version. About one-third of the finishers beat the train to its destination in North Creek.
A free Hudson River rafting pass was awarded to the top male and female winners of the day: Alex Benway, 19, of Queensbury who was first across the finish line at 46:25; and Carly Wynn, 16. of an undetermined hometown, in 15th place overall at 55:12.
Once again, the top female local winner of the run was Suzanne Tomb, 42, of North Creek with a time of 1:08:09, while Paul Allison of Johnsburg was the local male winner with 48:54.