The Running for the Bay marathon Oct. 20 posted another successful year, attracting more than 500 runners to the county for the fourth year of the event.



“I think it went super, the best year ever. I’m the eternal optimist,” said organizer Mark Henderson, an Atlanta businessman. “People seem to love the town; they thought everybody was really friendly. The weather was overcast which was in a way perfect for running. A little windy but they thought it was fine.”



The Franklin’s Promise Coalition provided scores of volunteers for the event, and will receive a donation of $2,000 for their efforts. Another $100 will be given to the humane society.



Henderson expressed thanks to the work put in by Joe Taylor, director of Franklin’s Promise, and Anita Grove, director of the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce, as well as City Administrator Betty Taylor Webb and her staff, Apalachicola Police Chief Bobby Varnes and Capt. Brad Segree from the sheriff’s office.



“I thought the sheriff’s office and police department did a great job. There was a good police presence and assistance,” said Henderson. “It seemed like the community’s catching on that it’s a good thing for the community.”



He said Resort Vacation Properties donated the house where Henderson’s staff stayed.



The marathon has become quite a family affair, with Henderson’s son Kyle, coming in from California to do the announcing, son Jake helping with barricades and cones, daughter Kayte and her fiancé Jonathan managing the turnaround halfway point, where East Bay Shore Drive runs into Island Drive, wife Mary and brother Mary and brother Jim in charge of Saturday’s Runners Expo.



Even Henderson’s sister Alberta Chapman, a physician from South Bend, Indiana came down to be with family and ended up walking the 5k and helping in the medical tent.



Henderson said about 515 runners ran the race, with most finishing.



Winning the marathon, among 87 finishers, was 20-year-old Skyler Bakker from Palm Beach Gardens, who ran a 2:53:35, nearly a half-hour faster than runner up, Eddie Delacruz, 38, from Suwanee, Ga. The top female finisher was Monica Bolanos, 42, of Jacksonville, who ran a 3:27:20.



“It was wonderful,” said Bolanos. “It was my first time. I enjoyed riding over the bridges. It was a beautiful, beautiful view.” She came Saturday and stayed until Sunday at the St George Inn.



Among 196 finishers in the half-marathon, winner was Ben McLain, 38, of Conyers, Ga., in 1:25:36, about five minutes ahead of runner-up Aaron Widman, 30, of Solana Beach, Cal. The top female finisher was Katie Sherron, 32, of Tallahassee, in 1:35:31.



St. George Island runner Alane Kadel, 43, was 102nd, in a 2:17:06.



Of the 15 runners in the 50K Ultra Marathon, winner was Michael DeHaye, 43, of Huntsville, Ala., in 3:57:09. The top female was Karima Anderson, 27, of Tallahassee, in 5:37:56.



Of the 72 runners in the 10K, winner was Abraham Middleton, 37, of Tallahassee, in 47:23. Top female finisher was Ashley French, 31, of Panama City, in 50:10.



Local finishers included  sixth place, Herbert Witt, 55, of Apalachicola, in 50:53; and 63rd place Jo Ellen Hall, 49, of Apalachicola, in 1:25:31.



Of the 62 runners who finished the 5K, winner was Glenn Johnson, 46, of Mexico Beach, in 24:04, while top female was Becky Ward, 14, of Milton, in 26:17.



Local finishers include 22nd place Alan Pierce, 58, of Apalachicola, in 32:45; 29th place Suzanne Moree, 52, of Carrabelle, in 36:51; 41st place Marisa Getter, 40, of Apalachicola, in 43:20; 43rd place Tricia McLemore, 50, of Apalachicola, in 47:07; 44th place Kate McLemore, 13, of Apalachicola, in 47:08; and 45th place Butch Coates, 70, of Eastpoint, in 47:57.



For complete results, visit www.racesmith,.com