Special to The Bedford Citizen
On a warm, sunny Saturday morning, Bedford High School Cross-Country and Track hosted the first annual Swag Flag 5K. 172 runners turned out for the event, a fundraiser for the team which hopefully will become a summertime staple on the local running scene. Brian Rich of Concord won the 5K in a time of 16:41, while Nick Reed of Fairfax, VA took second, and Alex Knoedler of Hanscom Air Force Base took third. Hallie Armstrong of Needham was the top female finisher, taking 7th overall in a time of 19:30.
Race director Joel Hebert was pleased with the event. “It was great to see so many people come out to share their love of running while at the same time supporting our program. We had over 100 runners from Bedford and 20 from Hanscom join us, as well as plenty from surrounding towns.”
Participants enjoyed the inaugural event. “It was a great course,” Bedford history teacher Jim Sunderland noted. “I ran my fastest time of the year.” The money raised from the event will be spent on new equipment and a new storage building for the Bedford Track and Field team, which has doubled in size in the past four years and now features 250 competitors across three different seasons.
Coach Hebert would like to thank the volunteers for helping organize the event, particularly Mike Nosal who designed the race website www.Swagflag5k.com. He would also like to recognize local businesses whose generous support helped make this event a success. In particular, Callahan’s Karate was the platinum sponsor, donating the largest amount to the cause.
In addition to Callahan’s Karate, the following sponsors signed on to support the race: Northside Convenience, Salem Five Bank, Carleton-Willard Village, Bedford Rotary Club, New Balance, Ka-noon Thai Cuisine, Organix Spa and Salon, Stop and Shop, Bruegger’s Bagels, and Tricon Sports.