There was a distinct feeling of family and friendship emanating from Steep Rock Reservation in Washington on the Fourth of July as more than 150 runners and walkers from throughout the area gathered to compete in the Stephen Reich 5K Freedom Run.

The race was hosted on July 4 by Washington Parks & Recreation in memory of Maj. Stephen Reich, a longtime Washington resident and Shepaug graduate who died June 28, 2005 in Afghanistan while serving with the U.S. Army Special Forces.

The event attracted a field featuring just about every family relationship one could muster, plus a crowd of nearly as many folks cheering on their friends and relatives as the athletes sprinted, jogged or slowly walked to the finish line near the Steep Rock horse ring.

Ex-Shepaug Valley High School cross country, swim and track standout Dominic Gillen, most recently known around here for his triathlon successes, now living in New Haven, eased to victory in 17:17.

His nearest rival was Matthew Patrick of Larchmont, N.Y., 31 seconds in arrears.

Former Spartan standout Jay McGorty of Washington was third in 18:01, followed by current Shepaug athlete Logan Ross of Washington at 18:51.

The top 10 was rounded out by Tyler Heishman (5th, 18:52) of New York City, Shepaug girls' track coach Mike Croft (6th, 19:14) of Washington, Stephen Reich's brother-in-law, Stephen George (7th, 20:04) of Cambridge, Mass., Bryan Stinchfield (8th, 20:11) of Cambridge, Mass., Karl Quist (9th, 20:26) of New Preston and Russ Pribanic (10th, 21:17) of Roxbury.

Theresa Krebs of Roxbury echoed race success she has had in her hometown by capturing Sunday's distaff alurels with her 14th-place time of 21:40.

Mary Schafer, also a Roxbury resident, was the women's runnerup and 16th place overall in 22:00.

Among the prizes delivered at the horse ring awards ceremony by Maj. Reich's father, Parks & Recreation Commission member Ray Reich, were Shawn Howard of Torrington as the first active military, Robbie McKersie of Boxford, Mass. as the first youth finisher, Charlie Euston of Woodbury and Jan Magnoli of Washington as the oldest male and female, and James Cook of Grand Rapids, Mi. for having traveled farthest.

The Friend of the Free Run for his longtime support was given to Bob Lewis of New Milford.

For the complete race results, call the Parks & Recreation office at (860) 868-1519.