Runners Brave Cold And Damp To Support Big Brothers Big Sisters


Start of the 5k race at the 13th annual Daffodil Run. Photo: Racewire

Despite the cold, damp weather on race day on April 30, the 13th annual Daffodil Run was again a successful fundraiser for Big Brothers/Big Sisters (BBBS) of Hampshire County. About 500 runners and walkers registered for the 5k and 10k races that began and ended at the Amherst Town Common and ran through downtown Amherst. Although the total is still being calculated, BBBS Development and Partnerships Director Ann Walsh said the 2023 event earned about the same as last year’s race, which contributed $50,000 to the organization.  Walsh estimated that there were about 100 more registrants than the previous year, which was the first year that the event resumed as an in-person race after operating as a virtual race during the pandemic.

Susan Nicastro, Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, commented:  “We are so excited to celebrate everything that we accomplished together at the 13th Annual Daffodil Run! We are deeply grateful for all the amazing community support we received and are already looking forward to next year’s Daffodil Run! Everyone who supports the Daffodil Run contributes to our mission to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County makes meaningful matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and youth (“Littles”), with the aim of developing positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Thank you to our community of supporters!”

Lia Toyota was again the lead sponsor, with Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan riding in the lead car, an electric Toyota vehicle. Other major donors included Florence Bank, People’s Bank, Amherst Montessori School, and iHeart Radio. The UMass Athletic Department provided many volunteers. The rain held off until after the finishers enjoyed their well-earned lunch provided by area businesses.

Top Finishers In The 5K Race (for full results look here )

Women’s Open (Name, Age, Finish Time)

  1. Julia Gentin 19,  21:55
  2. Phoebe Eccles 21. 21:59
  3. Maeve Cunningham 12    24:04
  4. Alexis Mejia 23.  24:41
  5. Sidney Letendre 68   25:03

Men’s Open (Name, Age, Finish Time)

  1. Gabriel Appelbaum 22.  18:38
  2. Chris Gould 57.  18:53
  3. Koby Gardner-Levine.  19:12
  4. Andrew Rosin 20.  19:43
  5. Gus Frey 13      19:48

Top Finishers In The 10K Race (for full results look here )

Women’s Open (Name, Age, Finish Time)

  1. Linda Spooner 48.  40:42
  2. Jessica Sproehnle 43  46:19
  3. Lindsey Russo 30.  47:30
  4. Lisa Berry 51.  47:46
  5. Susana Brena 54.  47:53

Men’s Open (Name, Age, Finish Time)

  1. Mark Rabasco 28   38:26
  2. Sam Fetters 19.  38:39
  3. Brett Cumming 24.  39:31
  4. Griffin Lipman 46.  40:03
  5. Kyle Blocher 31.  40:36
Gabriel Applebaum nears the finish of the 5k race at the 13th annual Daffodil Run. Applebaum was the first overall 5k finisher in 18:38. Photo: Art Keene
Women’s 5k winner Julia Gentin (5421) duels with runner up Phoebe Eccles (5391) near the finish. Photo: Art Keene
Toni Cunningham celebrates with daughter Maeve Cunningham after the race. Maeve, a member of the Amherst Regional Middle School track and cross country teams, was the third finisher overall in the women’s race. Photo: Toni Cunningham

Map of the 5k course. Photo: Art Keene
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