Gwynn’s Island Race 2015: Inaugural Event

Article from Gazette Journal of Gloucester/ Mathews on July 2, 2015

Although the weather forced the cancellation of the Gwynn’s Island Festival this year, the Kukini race went on as scheduled. The Gwynn’s Island Fire Department was the start & finish line for the two events: 1 mile fun run kicked off at 9am followed by the 5k race at 9:30 – more than 60 participants came out to enjoy the competition!

Eight-year-old Faith Lewis of Mathews County was the fastest miler on Saturday and led the pack with a time of 11:23.9. She almost missed the race: with the festival cancelled there was concern that the race would be called off. As soon as Faith arrived, the race started and she never looked back.

The 5k race was also competitive – and slightly longer than 5k. This 3.5 mile course presented very little challenge to the local runners: Russell Reed of Onemo led the group from the start and finished in just over 19 minutes, followed by Doug Marshall of Mathews with a time of 20:37.8, and Samuel Guy – in town visiting with his family from California – in third overall at 23:17.2. The race for fastest overall female was hotly contested by Mathews High School running champs from past & present: Sabrina Myers (age 20) was narrowly ousted by Rileigh Betz (age 15) by a fraction of a second.

Christine Johnson from VTTR presents YMCA Director, Sheila Pillath, with a donation from Gwynn's Island event.
Christine Johnson from VTTR presents YMCA Director, Sheila Pillath, with a donation from Gwynn’s Island event.

The Virginia Tidewater Trailrunners (VTTR) hosted the fundraiser event in collaboration with Mathews YMCA and the Gwynn’s Island Civic League. Due to the success of the event – in spite of the weather – VTTR donated $250 to both organizations! Adding to the community spirit were Gwynn’s Island Campground who set up & manned the race water stop, and the Gwynn’s Island Fire Department who loaned their facility, grounds, and equipment to the event: the fire engine horn was the starting blast that sent runners off to the races.

Race Director and VTTR member Jessica Rhodes voiced her satisfaction with the event. “We had a few glitches but overall this turned out well,” she commented. “The Gwynn’s Island community really came through for us with the Civic League, Fire Department, Rescue Squad, and the Campground. This made our event run smoothly and allowed us to keep our costs low. Low costs equate to more proceeds and higher donations to these organizations. This was our club’s first event and I consider it a success. We’re looking forward to next year!”

The VTTR is a running group located in Middle Peninsula with a focus on local events. They organize and coordinate several events each year, most recently the Horn Harbor Duathlon: a 4.5 mile run followed by .85 mile swim transitioning at Horn Harbor Marina in June. A fall event will be another duathlon – this time a run/ kayak combination. For further details, check out their website at

Click here for Race Results

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: