Santa’s reindeer made an advance trip to Conway Saturday with many of them participating in the eighth annual RiverTown Reindeer Race.
In addition to Rudolph, the popular event featured many of the Jolly Old Elf’s comrades wearing Santa hats, elf ears and reindeer antlers. Holiday music filled the air as 265 runners and walkers participated in the fundraising event for the American Red Cross and its Red Cross Rescue Racer Program.
According to Red Cross Racer program manager Angela Nicholas, the event was very successful with approximately $20,000 being raised to assist local families affected by disasters.
Dwayne Carter of Conway and Wilson Jenerette of North Myrtle Beach won top honors in the big event, which is quickly becoming a holiday attraction in Conway.
Carter, 53, crossed the finish line in 18:39 minutes to win the 5K race for the fifth time. He said winning never grows old.
“Even at 53, it’s a blessing,” he said. “The first half mile is hard because it’s on an incline. I love the scenery downtown. It’s not boring at all.”
Jenerette, 15, paced the women in 20 minutes flat, 52 seconds faster than this past year when she was also the top female finisher.
“The course is pretty good,” Jenerette said. “There is an incline on the way out, but that’s okay because there’s so much adrenalin the first mile. Thankfully it’s on a decline on the way back. The second mile is all downhill where you need it.”
Jenerette is a member of the North Myrtle Beach High School cross-country team.
“It was a great race today,” she said. “Weather-wise it was a little cool, but it was good for running.”
Rounding out the top five overall finishers were Paul Boyd of Conway, 18:45; Diego Sosa of Myrtle Beach, 18:53; Michael Kovac of Myrtle Beach,18:57; and Ryan Dion of Myrtle Beach,19:18.
Following Jenerette in the female category were Sara Millar of Murrells Inlet with a time of 22:07; and Christine Kitzler of Myrtle Beach in 22:35.
The top three finishers in the female 1-14 age group were Emma Dunn of Myrtle Beach, 17:34; Natasha Burno of Conway, 29:30; and Madi White of Myrtle Beach, 29:38.
The male 1-14 group was led by Asher Patino of Conway who ran the course in 21:27 minutes. Caden Livingston of Conway was second in 21:45, and Benjamin Mothershead of Myrtle Beach claimed third with a time of 25:18.
The female 15-18 winners were Taylor Monahan of Little River, 24:55; Krista Drozdowski of Longs, 27:03; and Sami Walser of Conway, 32:32.
The male 15-18 winners were Aaron Birchler of Myrtle Beach, 24:35; Diego Sosa-Davila of Myrtle Beach, 26:21; and Myers Hamer of Dillon, 26:53.
The female 19-24 winners were Erica Peterson of Conway with a time of 30:13 minutes. Haley Grimes of Florence was second in 40:50.
The female 25-29 winners were Amanda Lyons of Conway, 27:12; Megan Eyrich of Myrtle Beach, 27:12; and Shiran Carter of Myrtle Beach, 28:59.
The male 25-29 winners were B. Thomas Kostiw of Murrells Inlet, 20:38; Timothy Moore of Myrtle Beach, 23:53; and Brandon Truss of Little River, 25:17.
The female 30-34 winners were Karly Caldwell of Myrtle Beach, 26:39; Alexandra Wilding of Conway, 28:55; and Kristy Mauro of Myrtle Beach, 29:51.
The male 30-34 winners were James Walters of Little River, 23:33; Christopher Gardner of Murrells Inlet, 37:04; and Greg Lozano of Myrtle Beach, 48:35.
The female 35-39 winners were Samantha Burton of Myrtle Beach, 25:02; Carrie Dunn of Myrtle Beach, 25:38; and Michelle Christenson of Murrells Inlet, 26:05.
The male 35-39 winners were Michael Kovac of Myrtle Beach, 18:57; Bryce Garbrecht of Myrtle Beach, 22:07; and Daniel Robles of Longs, 22:48.
The female 40-44 winners were Brandi Al-Taher of Myrtle Beach, 23:07; Kerri Oxendine of Surfside Beach, 25:30; and Kara Wingo of South Bend, Ind., 25:47.
The male 40-44 winners were Ryan Dion of Myrtle Beach, 19:18; Daniel Brass of Myrtle Beach, 21:14; and Cory McNair of Conway, 21:50.
The female 45-49 winners were Dawn White of North Myrtle Beach, 23:08; Kristin Smith of Myrtle Beach, 23:30; and Christine Rockey of Conway, 23:33.
The male 45-49 winners were Abe Millan of Little River, 23:40; Allen Poston of Georgetown, 25:57; and Mitch Collins of Georgetown, 38:13.
The female 50-54 winners were Luanne Jahanbakhsh of Pawleys Island, 27:27; Suzanne Toole of Myrtle Beach, 31:45; and Sherryl Cox of Latta, 32:20.
The male 50-54 winners were Douglas Smith of North Myrtle Beach, 21:16; Marty McKenna of Charlotte, N.C., 24:47; and Steve Movsky of Myrtle Beach, 25:19.
The female 55-59 winners were Sarah Mims of Myrtle Beach, 28:30; Karen Stephenson of Myrtle Beach, 30:00; and Terrie Hamer of Dillon, 32:19.
The male 55-59 winners were Robert Vittetoe of Myrtle Beach, 20:38; John Karandisevsky of Myrtle Beach, 27:21; and Allen Mims of Myrtle Beach, 27:42.
The female 60-64 winners were Cindy Grennan of Murrells Inlet, 30:32; Karen Rushford of Murrells Inlet, 30:42; and Linda Crouch of Murrells Inlet, 34:38.
The male 60-64 winners were Gerald Graf of North Myrtle Beach, 20:55; Jim Fanning of South Bend, Ind., 23:51; and Terry Reardon of Myrtle Beach, 25:25.
Judy Phelps of Myrtle Beach won the female 65-69 division with a time of 22:59. She was followed by Jane Serues of North Myrtle Beach, 25:23; and Patricia Brooks of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., 28:09.
The male 65-69 winners were Baxter Brooks of Myrtle Beach, 24:03; Charley Ray of Conway, 24:59; and Bill Serues of North Myrtle Beach, 25:59.
The female 70-99 winners were Sandy Re of Conway, 44:02; Beverly Perry of Conway, 53:37; and Andrea Edmonds of Conway, 59:15.
The male 70-99 winners were Jim Burns of Ash, N.C., 27:52; Jim Sibley of Myrtle Beach, 28:56; and William King of Myrtle Beach, 31:09.