Runners, walkers and bikers were off to the races Saturday, May 5 to help raise money for the McClure Miller VNA Respite House.

The annual 5k Fun Run and Walk brought in about $58,000 and attracted more than 200 participants to Malletts Bay School for the 28th annual event (formerly known as the Jiggety Jog).

“Each year, we gather to celebrate and honor lives lived at the Respite House,” administrator Sharon Keegan said in a press release. Many fun-runners wore stickers displaying names of those they were participating in memory of.

Colchester resident Heather Rylant topped the charts as this year’s top individual fundraiser, bringing in $1,800. Fifteen-year participant Susan Brodeur of Milton notched second place with $1,420. Brodeur, whose parents both called the Respite House home during their last days, sported large pins with pictures of her mom and dad.

On the team side, Situ’s Super Stars came out on top, raising $4,066. Team Hewitt followed with $2,970.

Colchester’s Dylan Roberge, 17, was the top finisher, braking the tape with a time of 19:26.

Shortly after, Ananya Christman of South Burlington crossed the line at 19:50, earning second place overall as the first female finisher.

This year, walkers strolled an inaugural 3K route, allowing all walkers and runners to finish in the same timeframe.

After the race, participants enjoyed post-run lawn games like cornhole, music by Top Hat Entertainment, City Market smoothie bikes, famous foot cookies made by longtime volunteers and an awards ceremony, where top finishers received medals.

Raffle winners also pocketed gifts from Ski Rack, The Guilty Plate and Vermont Integrative Massage Therapy.

In her ‘thank you’ remarks, administrator Keegan told the crowd of a passionate five-year-old girl, who stood in the back with her extended family.

“Instead of birthday presents this year, she asked everyone to donate to the VNA Respite House in memory of her grandmother,” Keegan said, according to a press release.

The VNA staff extended its gratitude to the event’s corporate sponsors, Colchester Parks and Recreation for handling race logistics, Colchester Police for ensuring participants’ safety and Malletts Bay School for hosting the event.

Photos by Andy Duback