On the morning of May 7, 2022, runners came to Swainsboro for the 21st running of the Knotty Pine 5K Race as part of the 75th Pine Tree Festival. The 5K was sponsored by the Swainsboro Kiwanis Club, who provided logistics and support for the race. This year was very unique because the start/finish line was moved to the corner of Pine and Green Streets and the route changed because of debris from the Friday evening windstorm on the original route. In addition, SAR members Dess Smith and Steve Burke assisted Swainsboro Police Chief Randy Ellison fire a starting cannon. The 1st place overall winner in the 5K male division was Mason Smith from Collins, GA with a time of 19 minutes and 36 seconds, while the overall winner in the female division was Jennifer Eskandarion from Derby, KS in a time of 27 minutes and 47 seconds. The 1st place master’s male winner was Jose Becerril from Reidsville, GA, with a time of 24 minutes and 44 seconds and Angela Landers from Statesboro, GA was 1st place in the master’s female division with a time of 30 minutes and 43 seconds.
Age group winners in the male division were: age 10 and under, 1st place Charley McNeely in 26 minutes and 46 seconds, 2nd place Kellan McNeely in 34 minutes and 19 seconds, and 3rd place Denton Parker in 46 minutes and 23 seconds; age 30-39, 1st place Roscoe Parker in 46 minutes and 23 seconds; age 50-59, 1st place Kevin Faircloth in 31 minutes and 5 seconds and 2nd place David Smith in 36 minutes and 37 seconds; age 70 and older, 1st place Tom Lamb 26 minutes and 51 seconds and 2nd place John Torpy in 38 minutes and 43 seconds.
Age group winners in the female division were: age 20 to 29, 1st place Anita Cerpovicz in 28 minutes and 43 seconds, 2nd place Carla Carpenter in 33 minutes and 23 seconds, and 3rd place Victoria Parker in 48 minutes and 35 seconds; age 30-39, 1st place Jennifer Mooney in 28 minutes and 34 seconds and 2nd place Joni McNeely in 37 minutes and 25 seconds; age 40-49, 1st place Jessy Eskandarion in 31 minutes and 34 seconds; age 50-59, 1st place Beth Lane in 32 minutes and 41 seconds; and age 60-69, 1st place Beverly Walker in 35 minutes and 49 seconds.
The Swainsboro Kiwanis Club would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors; Domino’s Pizza, Haddock Chiropractic, Harvey’s, Shop Rite, Statesboro Coca-Cola Bottling, Swainsboro Ford, Swainsboro Raceway, Swainsboro Internal Medical Clinic, Walmart, and Ware’s Bar-B-Que. A special thanks also to the Swainsboro Police Department for all the assistance as they kept our runners safe even with all the people around for the Pine Tree Festival. Complete results of the runs can be found on the Swainsboro Kiwanis Club website at swainsborokiwanis.org and the Pine Tree Festival website at pinetreefestival.org. Run fast, run hard, and run safe!