Family and fun, as usual, dominated the day at the 30th annual Feaster Five Road Race, with nearly 10,000 participants.
People came from all over the country to compete in every age level.
The Feaster Five Kids K Race continues to grow in stature with more than 800 youngsters, 4 to 12 years old, They competed on the track, all wearing “No. 1” bibs.
This year the kids also got hooded jerseys, just like the adults did in the 5K and 5-mile races (and walks).
“We love this event,” said Donna Neylon of Andover, who’s daughter Emily, 4, and son Peter, 7, all ran.
“It gets us outside exercising. After this, we all walk the 5K together,” she said.
While the older people seemed enamored with the hooded sports tech shirts, the kids not as much.
“Emily ran over showing us her medal,” said Neylon. “We’ll be here every year.”
The Carter family of Andover, including father Jeremy, mother Carla and daughters Addison, 7, and Olivia, 5, plan to come to downtown Andover for years to come.
“This kids' race is special,” said Carla. “They learn about getting fit early in life.”
“And you add the community element and the fact the kids are having a blast,” said Jeremy. “This is the best.”
But it was also filled with competition, as local runners took top spots in the race.
And Maggie Mullins of Andover, for example, won the women’s 5-mile (29:09).
Mullins, a recent addition to the Whirlaway Racing Team, was an Andover High great (two-time Eagle-Tribune MVP in cross country) who ran at Boston College. She got a call from Dave Kazanjian, who coaches the Whirlaway team, and started up a few months ago.
A local winner in the 5K race was Alanna McDonough, 24, of Andover, at 18:53.
An assistant cross country coach at her alma mater, Colby College, she was seen pumping her fist soon after crossing the finish line.
“I realized I beat my younger brother (Liam), who I coach (by five seconds),” said the smiling McDonough, a graduate of Governor’s Academy. “You should never let your coach beat you.”
She had won the Feaster Five 5K event once before.
Jim Buhrer, of Andover, was huffing and puffing as he crossed the 5K finish line at 31:13.
His dog, “Bartlet,” a Golden Doodle, looked as if he walked over from the family room.
“If there was a dog run of 25 miles, I think he’d win,” said Buhrer. “Honestly, he pulled me the entire way. He helped get me on the hill up Main Street.”
Buhrer said he believes Bartlet may have been the first dog to cross the finish line, which is why he was so tired afterward.
“I kept an eye out and didn’t see any ahead of us,” said Buhrer. “This is a big deal for him. When our family is getting up in the morning, putting on all these stupid hats, he knows he’s going out for a run.”
The entire Buhrer family ran: wife Robin, daughter Lauren (22) and son Michael (20), who had a pumpkin pie hat that closely resembled a Green Bay Packers cheese-head.
Where did the name “Bartlet” come from?
“It’s pretty basic. We live on Bartlet Street in Andover,” said Buhrer, who owns Refind Renovations in downtown Andover, near Bertucci’s.