Martinez breaks personal best at Kiwanis Family 5K

Jodi Pree

Nearly 260 entrants participated in the fifth annual Kiwanis Family 5K on Saturday with this year’s proceeds going toward rebuilding and updating Marco Island Charter Middle School’s television studio.

17-year-old Cipriano Martinez races toward the finish line ahead of the pack. Martinez won first place in the Male Open category of the Kiwanis Family 5K on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017.

Participants of all ages enjoyed a picturesque, cloudless race day. The 3.1-mile course began and ended at Tigertail Beach Park with the course winding through the exclusive Hideaway Beach neighborhood. The race began promptly at 8 a.m. with the timed runners chomping at the bit to start. The buzz among the spectators and volunteers was that the timed runners would start to reappear at the 18-minute mark. In fact, the first runner made it back in just over 17 minutes.

“Last year I set a race time record at 17:55. This year, I beat my personal best at 17:04," Cipriano Martinez, first place in the Male Open category said. "It was a beautiful morning to go out to run."

Other runners, joggers and walkers made their way back within 90 minutes. All efforts were celebrated by volunteers and friends as the racers crossed the finish line. The event concluded with an awards ceremony.