The Robin Lotane Red Cross Hurricane 5K & 1 Mile Run and Walk held its 8th annual event on Saturday morning in Southwood.
The race first began in 2007 when Robin Lotane wanted to create a family-friendly event for the community to bring awareness about the Red Cross mission. Lotane was a long-time board member for the Capital Area Chapter and a local attorney.
The race began at 8 a.m. with a fun run and walk event, which led to the main 5K race that started at 8:30 a.m. Many in the community came out to support the event and see Bob Lotane, late husband of Robin Lotane.
In 2010, The American Red Cross renamed the run The Robin Lotane Red Cross Hurricane Run, in honor of Robin after she lost her battle with cancer. Bob Lotane and his family have continued to keep the event going by having Bob Lotane as the race director.
Sherrie Kishbaugh, chairwoman of the board local chapter of American Red Cross, reminisced on the impact the family had on her and the event.
“Robin and Bob Lotane were on the board when I joined. Bob has been a big inspiration to becoming chairman of the board; through the virus and health issues he has been through is amazing and an inspiration to say the least,” Kishbaugh said.
Bob Lotane contracted the West Nile virus last summer and has been in recovery. The slogan for this year’s race is Run for Bob; through his inspiration The American Red Cross dedicated this year's run and walk to him.
Other races were taking place at the same time of the hurricane walk event, but still many came to participate.
“We had over 250 people which is a good size race. We had good corporate sponsors. Allstate gives us a lot of money, so before race began we had $50,000,” Lotane said.
Last year before the race started there were 90 people who were pre-registered. The morning of Saturday’s event 190 were pre-registered; at the start of the race a total of 268 runners were registered.
Of those registered runners, Florida A&M University student, Joseph Garcia, defended his title of first male runner by having a total time of 16:20.
Sore from an 8K race on the previous day, Garcia still managed to pull through to the finish line.
“It was just the workout. I wasn’t trying that hard. It was seriously just the workout, and it’s my very first 5k I have ever done,” Garcia said.
When asked what strategy, if any, did he use to have such a good time he said he wanted to just coast.
“I was really sore. I just knew I had to chill out and try to close strong,” Garcia said.