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Hundreds of racers sell out Running with the Rays 5K

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — More than 1,600 runners, walkers and joggers raced in Sunday morning’s Running with the Rays 5K.

There were so many participants, organizers had to push the start time back to 7:40 a.m. from 7:30 a.m., with hundreds more racers than 2023.

“Really good numbers,” said Tampa Bay Rays VP of Marketing Patrick Abst. “Increased from last year, which is great, because it’s just more money for the Foundation, more money going back to the community.”

The in-person and virtual races both sold out this year.

“The proceeds from the event go to the Rays Baseball Foundation,” Abst explained. “The Rays Baseball Foundation gives community fund grants to different nonprofits throughout the Tampa Bay region.”

The run started outside Tropicana Field, through downtown St. Pete and Al Lang Stadium and finished in the outfield of the Trop.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful finish to the race,” said Missy Maguire, the second overall female in the race. “

She said her and husband love baseball and running.

“The St. Pete running community in general is just awesome,” said Charlie Maguire. “The energy, it’s such a positive atmosphere. Look at all these people, everybody’s getting up around 4 a.m. to get here.”

Next year, with the potential construction of a new Rays’ stadium, the team is already thinking about changes.

“We’re real hopeful that there’ll be some construction going on in the lot out here,” Abst said of the possible new stadium. “So, obviously, that will have to adjust the route.”

The fastest runner finished the 5K in about 17:40 and the last group finished in about 1:20:00.

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