Formula 5K: Local runners pour sweat


While many Charlottesvillians were nursing hangovers, getting caffeinated, and padding around the house in their PJs, about 300 local runners and 25 area volunteers gathered in Free Union to participate in the annual New Year's Day 5K.

For the past 15 years, the Charlottesville Track Club has hosted the race on Wesley Chapel Road in Free Union. The 3.1-mile "out and back" course weaves gently through the rolling Central Virginia countryside, with the Blue Ridge mountains as a backdrop.

294 racers completed the circuit, and 19-year-old Lewis Martin won with a time of 16:12.

Unlike most races, the NYD 5K starts at 11am, a blessing for New Year's Eve partygoers who still want to get their run-on the next day. This year, race participants not only enjoyed the scenery and the post-race snacks, but they also were greeted by warm, spring-like temperatures, which made getting out of bed a lot easier. (According the Weather Underground, the mercury hit 71F.)

For those still making your New Year's resolutions, you might want to add running the NYD 5K in 2006 to your list. It's a good time for a good cause (a portion of the proceeds go to the Thomas Jefferson Area Food Bank), and it might even get you home at a decent hour on New Year's Eve.

Making it official: Norman Dutzler and other race-day volunteers give their time to ensure that the show goes on.

Step it up: The NYD 5K runners are off to a good start.

Taking it topless– Alec Lorenzoni speeds past the finish to take 2nd place, followed by Will Massie in 3rd.

Yes, it is January. No, these are not members of the Polar Bear Club.

Henry Keith finds a quiet place to stretch before the race.