Eric “Man” Washington won his Caboose Run heat on the very day he turned 5 years old. At the finish line, the young Man, grimacing slightly after the race, was hesitant to talk, but his parents said they were nonetheless proud of his birthday win.
Participant Matthew Magura said it was fun to be out running with his friends.
“It’s a great event that they [have] put on,” said Matthew’s mother, Sandy Magura. “We’re all cheering on each other’s kids.”
Ryland Nance arrived at the finish line seemingly a bit miffed to not have been handed a cold dessert immediately upon completing the Caboose Run.
“The man at the start line is telling them there’s snow cones at the end,” said Ryland’s grandmother, Christie Cox, with a knowing smile at the rather simple motivator.
“I loved when Grandma helped me try to get to the end,” Ryland said of her support.
Racers competed for such prizes as gift cards to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and the top male and female finishers can get excited for a family four-pack of free tickets to the Fredericksburg Nationals—if they can wait a year. (Justin Polcha, 17, won the full-course race. Hailey Lemke, 14, was the top female finisher.)
“Unfortunately, when they gave us the prizes, they weren’t sure what the 2021 season was gonna look like, so it’s for the 2022 season,” said Pessolano, adding the prize includes being a guest announcer for one inning. “It’s still a great prize.”