On March 4, rock music broke the early morning quiet in WindMark Beach, setting an energetic mood for the events to come. The runners had lined up at the starting line. Some stretched or jogged lightly in place. Others double knotted their shoes. All waited anxiously for the starting signal.
Shortly after 8:30, they were off running.
The Breeze by the Bay race is one of the Junior Service League of Port St. Joe’s largest annual fundraisers, along with their Chili Cook-off, which was hosted in January. This is the fifth year the organization has hosted the race, in which participants had the option to run either five or 10 kilometers.
Proceeds for the event will go towards helping the organization provide charitable services throughout Gulf County.
As runners crossed the finish line at the end of the race, members of the Junior Service League and other volunteers cheered them on.
William Socoe won first place in the 17 and under 5K, followed by Lex Payne and Jagger Payne.
Amanda May won the women’s 5K. Keira Evans came in second and Ashley Payne came in third.
Tyler Slaughter won the men’s 5K, followed by Jeffrey Breeden and Zach Childs.
Amanda Finley was the winner of the women’s 10K, with Terri Prange and Ashley Trammell coming in second and third place.
Johnathan Martin won the men’s 10K, followed by Barry Mines and Marc Singer.
In a list read at the event, representatives from the Junior Service League said proceeds will help with running a winter clothing shopping spree for children and families in need, providing scholarships to graduating high school seniors, providing school supplies to several Gulf County elementary schools, putting on an Easter egg hunt for the community and providing prom dresses and accessories for high school students who cannot afford the steep costs, among other projects.