All come out to run

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2010



LULING – More than 1,500 runners and walkers, including several who are nationally and world ranked, were greeted with excellent running weather Saturday for the 14th annual United Way 5K run/walk across the Hale Boggs Bridge in St. Charles Parish.

John Dias, executive director for the United Way of St. Charles, said organizers fielded few if any complaints about race conditions following the event.

“We heard from many participants that the view from the Hale Boggs Bridge can’t be beat, especially on a great day like that,” Dias said. “I encourage everyone to participate in the event just to take advantage of the scenery St. Charles Parish and the Hale Boggs Bridge has to offer.”

Marine and race enthusiast Brad McKee, officially started the race at 8:30 a.m. Michael Kibits, a Kenyan athlete living in Alabama, was the first to finish the race with a time of 14 minutes 43 seconds. Joining Kibits in the men’s division top three were Kyle Lewis, who finished in 14 minutes 49 seconds, and Ryan Wood, who clocked in at 15 minutes flat.

On the women’s side, Sara Skotty of New Orleans defended her 2009 title with a winning time of 17 minutes 20 seconds, which was very close to the women’s course record. Kate Accardo finished second with a time of 17 minutes 40 seconds, and Olga Markova placed third with a time of 18 minutes 8 seconds.

Jose Villalta and Pat Driscoll placed as the overall winners in the walking division. To view a complete list of the award winners, visit The race winners took home a combined prize money purse of $5,000, Dias said.

Following the run, United Way held a “Little Bridge Run” for children 10 and under. More than 200 young runners participated in the half-mile race.

Race day festivities included a post-race festival, where vendors provided food, music, crafts and entertainment for the whole family.

“We were very pleased with the turnout this year given the competition our event had with other well known Louisiana festivals,” Dias said. “We really appreciate the support we receive from St. Charles Parish residents and our surrounding communities.”