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Freaky 5K Draws Team of Dalmatians

The annual Halloween race of the East Providence firefighters drew 241 runners last Sunday, including a costumed team that will be featured on next year's T-shirt.

The annual Freaky 5K road race drew 241 runners last Sunday morning, Oct. 21, to the Rumford fire station -- including a team of Dalmatians.

“It was a beautiful day, and everything went great,” said Eric Linacre, an East Providence firefighter who organized the event for the department.

“We had one of the best turnouts in years, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves,” he said.

The overall men’s winner was Shaun Horgan of Bristol, with a time of 16:50, said Linacre.

The overall woman’s winner was Carrie Birth of East Providence with a time of 19:35.

Picking the best costume may have been the most difficult part of the annual event, though, Linacre said. That's where the team of Dalmatians come in.

“Many runners came dressed to the nines,” he said.

But, in the end, Linacre said, everyone agreed that the Riverside Middle School running club -- the Dalmatians -- deserved the award.

“They dressed as 101 Dalmatians, Cruella de Vil, and the dog catcher,” he said. “They will be featured on next years race T-shirt.

The team’s selection also came about partly because of the work done by teacher Brian Petsch and Tammy David, the Riverside school’s resource officer, who have kept the team together as a club without funding from the school department.

“They have kept the kids that were on the Riverside Middle School track team together, volunteering their own time and efforts,” he said. “Approximately one-third of the running club participated.”

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