Luke Shelton, Marie Fitt, Kellen Smith and Janelle Pope took top honors at the Big Pine Fourth of July 10K, 5K, 5K Run/Walk and 5K Youth Run/Walk races, respectively
The traditional holiday celebration is sponsored by the Big Pine Volunteer Fire Department and includes breakfast for the runners and the community and a full-on barbecue feast in the afternoon.
Following Shelton across the finish line in the 10K run were Victor Alcde and Sylvia Pavich.
The 5K runner-ups were Brandon Fitt and Lily Brooks; Virginia Thorson and Megan Smith placed second and third in the 5K Run/Walk. The top three in the Youth 5K included Pope, Paige Vance and Chloe Almeida.
BPVFD’s Bob Landers started the races at 8 a.m. The three courses, with a mix of challenges and elevation changes, started at the BPVFD parking lot, ran up Baker Creek Road and over high desert terrain toward the old Baker Ranch.
The runs ended at Mendenhall Park at the corner of School Street and Baker Creek Road where the finishers and community members feasted on a pancake breakfast. Juice and coffee were donated by Carl’s Jr.
Volunteers worked through the day in preparation for the 4 p.m. barbecue dinner. Firefighters had to respond to traffic accidents twice during evening event, but community members kept the event running smoothly.
BPVFD members expressed their gratitude for the support from the community and individuals who volunteered with the Run/Walk, the breakfast and barbecue.