Seniors compete in 5K and 10K races at Empire State Senior Games

Empire State Senior Games participants starting off their 5K run. (Camilo Fredes/Cortland Voice).

The cold, chilly and rainy weather did not stop seniors from completing their 5K and 10K runs at the Empire State Senior Games at SUNY Cortland.

On Thursday, June 13, senior runners gathered outside of SUNY Cortland’s Stadium Complex in order to run their 5k road race. Runners from ages 50 and up participated at the same time, giving it their all.

Over thirty people from all different age groups signed up for the 5k this year.

The overall race was won by Keith Eggleston, from the 60 to 64 year old division, after he recorded a 22:09 time.

Coming in a close second was Dale Seaton from Marcy New York. As he recorded a 22:27 minute time and won first place in the 55-59 year old division.

“I have been doing the senior games for about five years now,” said Seaton. “I don’t usually do the 5k, because I usually swim. However this year I am going to New Mexico to participate in Nationals this weekend and therefore miss the swim. So I wanted to continue my streak on doing the Empire State Senior Games.”

Many of the 5k racers came back to participate at the 10k race the very next day.

Empire State Senior Games 10K winners posing. (Camilo Fredes/Cortland Voice)

After recording a 47:40, Gary Burak won the overall race, coming first in his 60 to 64 year old age group.

Following Burak was Cortland native from Cincinnatus, Larry Blanchard. Who placed second both overall and in the 60 to 64 year old division, after recording a time of 50:35 minutes.

“I’ve been competing at the games for about eight years now,” said Blanchard. “I usually run three times a week to keep myself in shape. I run anywhere between two, four and six miles.”

Just as many of the other senior game events, participants are very welcoming and encourage each other throughout the games.

“People here come from all over,” said Cortland local, Angele Carpenter. “I get to compete with people my own age and develop a close relationship with them. We see and¬†encourage each other every year.”

Carpenter finished the 10k coming in first at her 80 to 84 age group division, with a 1:10:34 time.

“The best thing about the senior games, is that is local for us Cortland County people,” added Carpenter. “Since I live so close, why not take advantage of this?”