Runners must love chocolate, based on the turnout for Sunriver Resort’s third annual Run for Chocolate 5K Run and Walk held Saturday.
The resort welcomed 340 registrants and many more spectators to the pet-friendly race, which benefits the La Pine High School Athletic Department.
A love of chocolate may also be driving increasingly faster times, as this year’s fastest runner crossed the finished line more than a minute under last year’s winner.
Top finishers for 2013 were Rick Floyd from Bend setting a 5:30 pace for a final time of 17:09, Jason Gulley of Bellingham, WA, with a time of 18:09 and Kenny Thisseu of Hillsboro in third place with a time of 18:39. The top female finishers included Bend locals Stasia Smith with a time of 20:47, Natalia Martin with a time for 22:13, and Colleen Sullivan with a time for 22:16.
Runners were offered hot chocolate at race check-in, treated to a chocolate at an aid station during the race, and enjoyed chocolate treats and signature race mugs immediately after crossing the finish line.
Following their finish, racers made their way to the warmth of the Sunriver Resort Abbott Room, where they indulged in various chocolate delicacies before enjoying a lively awards ceremony and taking in the Chocolate Vendor Showcase below.
The Month of Chocolate events are made possible by event sponsors Bend Broadband, Estancia Vineyards and Widmer Brother’s Brewing. For more information, visit www.sunriver-resort.com/chocolate or call 800-609-1589.