LAKE JACKSON — Saturday was chilly, but that didn’t stop runners from participating in Brazosport College’s annual Gator Gallop 5K.
“It was a chilly morning, but I think the participants had a great time,” Director of Student Life and Intramural Programs Kelly Forde Spears said. “It’s about bringing our community together, because we are a community college and our purpose is to serve the community, and this is one way we can achieve that not only with our students, but the younger people and older seniors that can participate.”
Twenty-eight runners from all ages throughout Southern Brazoria County and afar took part in the event that helps fund scholarships for students at Brazosport College.
Lake Jackson resident Peter Fontenot won the overall 5K, crossing the finish line in a time of 20 minutes, 1.76 seconds. He won the race by over a minute’s time, leaving it all on the course.
“I haven’t had time to train for this; I’ve been busy with school and coming off of allergy season, and I can say I wish I trained for this,” Fontenot said. “It was tough and it hurts. It’s a mental game, and you just got to tell your body to do it.”
The first female runner to finish was Lilly Cole, who also runs for the Brazoswood cross country team. She came in with a time of 21:32.48.
As runners started to roll in, cheers could be heard from everyone who had already finished and people who just wanted to watch and support family members or friends.
One of the oldest and more experienced runners of the day was 84-year old Max Royalty, who ran through the finish line in a phenomenal time for his age, 35:14.
“I’ve been signing up for this race for 40 years now,” Royalty said. “Most of these people weren’t born when I ran my fist Gator Gallop. It’s a good local run and I like to support all local runs. It’s all done for a good cause.”
Top finishers in each male age group were: 0-19, Peter Fontenot (20:01), Cody Lozano (21:12), Edward Villegas (24:11); 30-39, Micah Luster (26:41), Stephen Searles (28:18), Frank Johnstone (29:30); 40-49, Luis Jose Paniagua (27:28), Jerry Martinez (29:36); 50-59 Hugh Leidlein (21:01), Glenn Lamont (23:27), Charles Cole (23:34); 60-plus Max Royalty (35:14), Jimmy McLeod (45:43), Chris Ebach (51:40).
Top female finishers by age group group were: 0-19, Lily Cole (21:32), Anna Tyree (21:34), Lilian Johnstone (29:41); 20-29, Valeria Peña (28:44), Condra Gardner (41:52); 30-39, Jessica Searles (27:49), Amy Lozano (29:55), Emerson Yellen (32:03); 40-49, Claudia Martinez (35:00); 50-59, Jane Leidlein (27:16), Laurie Fisher (28:09), Lisa McLeod (45:59); 60-plus, Carol Parker (39:32), Laura Ebach (51:41).
Spears was happy with the participation and wants to increase those numbers for next year.
“We’re always looking to increase our participation numbers, but I’m very happy with what we had this morning,” she said.