BELLEAIR — Roughly 700 runners from Pinellas County congregated on the mall in front of Town Hall on March 5 for the 20th edition of the annual road race, the Belleair Sunset 5K and Fun Run. 

The event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic but that, plus moving it from February to March, served to swell the crowd of runners as they waited for the start of the 1-mile run/walk at 5:30 p.m. Fifteen minutes later, the 5K kicked off on a course that wound along the scenic waterfront, and the evening was capped off with a post-race party on the field at the Dimmit Community Center.

Commissioner Coleen Chaney draped medals around the necks of the winners while many runners and their families enjoyed some well-deserved food and drinks.

According to 83-year-old Paul Cuypers of Clearwater, an avid runner and winner of the 5K’s 80-and-up category, the Belleair Sunset run is one of the best road races in the area.

“This event is perfect because the people are nice, the food is good, and the beer is good, too!” he said.

For race results, visit http://frrm.raceresults.space/2022/2022_sunset_classic_5K_OA.htm#M.