(UPDATED COVERAGE, 10-26) ATLANTA This year"s PMA Foundation 5K Race for Talent drew the highest number of teams.
The 5-kilometer race, which began during the early morning hours of Oct. 24, raised more than $80,000 for the Produce Marketing Association Foundation for Industry Talent, which attracts, retains and develops industry workers.
More than 920 runners began at the Georgia World Congress Center starting line and ran and jogged throughout the downtown area, ending at the convention center before the first day of the expo which was part of the Oct. 23-25 Fresh Summit.
With more than 60 participants, Team Costco won the largest team entry award.
The best team spirit award went to Fair Trade USA while the best team attire winner was REI Melon.
The winner of the race was Jeffrey Castro of Sun-Maid Growers in Kingsburg, Calif., who ran the course in 17:12.
Second place was Andrew Sheppard of Fort Myers, Fla.-based Gulfshore Produce who clocked in at 17:28.
Eric Surprenant of Driscoll"s in Watsonville, Calif., won third place in the race and in the men"s division and timed at 17:39.
Kirstie Kniaziew of Orangeline Farms" Zing! Healthy Foods in Leamington, Ontario, was the race"s fourth place finisher and won first place overall in the women"s division. Her time was 18:37.
Betty Topping of Evolution Fresh in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was fifth in the race and won second in the women"s league. She clocked at 22:30.
Yari Carvalo of Fruberries of Chile was the race"s sixth winner and placed third in the women"s division. She finished at 22:34.
Up to 125 teams registered, higher than last year"s 100 and other produce companies with high numbers of contestants included Bard Valley, Green Giant Fresh and Tosca.
Funds raised from the race support PMA"s Career Pathways programs which brought 44 students to Fresh Summit, said Michele Hoffman, PMA Foundation"s fundraising director.
"We had a great turnout, great participants and great sponsors," she said. "We are getting more teams every year. We had a super start and they ran a great race around downtown Atlanta. We are excited about our mission. We are entering our 10th anniversary next year. We have a lot of new and exciting things to bring the industry."