Brookhaven, GA, May 20, 2017 – by Trey Benton – Nearly 1,800 participated in the 2017 running of the Brookhaven Bolt 5K race, its 10th Anniversary. The Bolt is, by far, Ashford Park Elementary’s largest annual fundraiser. 100% of the event’s proceeds go directly to the school and are used to fund vital programs and classroom purchases, which would not be possible without the Bolt.
Tony O’Connor from West Chester, Ohio, posted an impressive 17:26 time to win the Bolt’s Overall division, 43 ticks ahead of second place finisher Connor Stevens of Marietta, and 1 minute 6 seconds ahead of third place runner, Blake Snyder of Atlanta.
O’Connor broke out of the pack to take the lead early, just after the race started. Once he got the lead, he never gave it up. He told The Post that family members who live in the area suggested he participate in the Bolt. “It was fun,” he said, while catching his breath.
In the female division, 14-year-old Atlantan Katelyn McLean recorded strong 20:21 time to capture a division title. She finished 15 seconds ahead of second place finisher Emma Allison of Atlanta. Also from Atlanta, runner Laura Worley came in third in the division with a 20:58 time.
The Brookhaven Bolt was created by Bill Sluben in 2007 with about 200 runners the first year. Since then it has raised over $250,000 for Ashford Park Elementary and now hosts roughly 1,800 runners annually. Locals Adam Caskey and Todd Banister have remained the principal organizers of the event.
Runners call the Bolt course challenging, but fair. The race is USATF Certified and winds through Brookhaven’s Ashford Park neighborhood.
The 2017 Bolt was presented by the Jim Ellis Automotive Group.
Below are some photos of the event. The full field race results can be found here.