Staff photo by Emmy Errante
Competitors in the inaugural Pier to Pier to Pier Run, benefiting the Wrightsville Beach Foundation, race toward Crystal Pier on Saturday, May 4. Top: Children race in the Crab Crawl.
Kids’ Crab Crawl adds levity to new local event
Johnnie Mercer’s Pier served as both starting line and finish line at the inaugural Pier to Pier to Pier Run and Crab Crawl Saturday, May 4.
It took most runners under an hour to make it back to Johnnie Mercer’s Pier after having reached Crystal Pier at the south end of Wrightsville Beach. Thirty-year-old Chris Burkett of Wilmington recorded a blazing 21:59.6 winning time. Second place was taken by Jason Adams with a time of 22:11.4 and third place was earned by Peter Wiegman of Wrightsville Beach with a time of 25:17.5. Medals given featured the Pier to Pier to Pier Run and Crab Crawl logo on wooden blocks on red, white and blue ribbons.
A total of 77 runners convened underneath the pier, unfazed by unseasonably cool and breezy conditions, and eager to get their blood flowing on a 3.44-mile run through the sand. Smiles abounded and a sense of excitement pervaded the only low-tide run event in the area, enthusing organizers and providing a good omen for the future.
“The location was perfect, everything fell into place,” said Bobby Brandon, volunteer race organizer, for the Wrightsville Beach Foundation. “We could have had better weather, but that’s out of our control. At least it didn’t rain, so it didn’t really hurt us.”
The Crab Crawl for kids, which took place prior to the race, buttressed the lighthearted family atmosphere and included a legs-first crab imitation from the pier to the lifeguard stand and back. The participants were outfitted with red hats with big claw outgrowths. Winners received green ribbons and gift packages, and all participants won Pier to Pier to Pier Run and Crab Crawl T-shirts.
“People just loved the shirts,” Brandon said. “We even sold some separately.”
The proceeds of the race will benefit the Wrightsville Beach Foundation, which helps to fund town projects and amenities. The foundation is also responsible for the Farmers’ Market, which is now beginning its season.
“We got a lot of positive comments. The foundation is planning it again next year. They’re expecting it to grow to be a really big event,” Brandon said. “We got started late this year; we were behind the eight ball just a little bit. But next year, we’ll have time to get it out there.”
Other winners by age group are as follows: top female overall, Gretchen Roberts; top male masters, Patrick Edwards; top female masters, Sara Adami; male 10 and under, Charles Wilt, and female, Katherine Player; male 10-14, Andrew Hall; male 15-19, Jordan Weigman, and female, Kelly Fuqua; male 20-24, Lucas Cole, and female Rebecca Srvjcek; male 25-29, Britt DeLoreto, and female, Heidi Bass; male 30-34, Brian Bossen, and female, Stephanie Perrin; male, 35-39, Clay Alford, and female, Michele Brouse; male 40-44, Mike Duncan, and female, Melissa Olson; male 45-49, Bill Boyer, and female Karen Simmons; male 50-54, Jeffery Faison, and female, Penny DeLoreto; female 55-59, Karen Wilkes; and male 60 plus, Wayne Stevens and female, Judy Kiernan.