The race honors its late namesake with a scholarship fund for local athletes.
On Jan. 6, the Andrew Monroe Memorial 5K brought out hundreds of runners along Siesta Beach in the race’s seventh year.
On a chilly morning, runners from all over gathered on a hard-packed beach and dodged casual runners and early beachgoers as they scrambled for victories on the sand. Despite the tough terrain, the winning 5K time was 17:38.4.
Race director Stacey Monroe expressed her gratitude for the runners supporting the race’s cause. The namesake of the race is Monroe’s son, Andrew, who died in a car crash in 2011. Andrew was an avid soccer player, and the proceeds from the annual race go toward a scholarship fund for senior soccer players at Riverview High School, track and JROTC members. Leftover proceeds go to the Sarasota Community Foundation, which provides the opportunity for scholarships to all county athletes who apply. In the race’s seven years, $80,000 has been raised, Monroe said.
“The running community of Sarasota and St. Pete is just a very loving community,” Monroe said. “They always try to support what’s going on. There are so many races going on and I still get 400 people.”
After the runners kicked down the beach to the finish line, they made their way to the afterparty with sponsors including Applebee’s and OrangeTheory.