All that separated race champion Bado Worku from 860th-place finisher Pete Cruz, 59, of Oxford was a bit of conditioning.

Well, that and 55 minutes and 13 seconds in their times.

Yet, to witness the reactions of many of those who completed last Friday's 17th annual Moonlight Run 5K road race in New Milford, it mattered not the place or time.

As it has proven during its previous 16 runnings, the Moonlight Run showed again June 4 that it's about participation.

Hosted since its inception by Wallie Jahn of New Milford, the event offered a modified start and finish along Young's Field Road due to construction on the tennis/basketball courts adjacent to Bridge Street.

Still, with a corps of elite runners to show the way, led by Worku in 13:53, the diverse field of 860 runners and walkers of all makes and models hustled, anguished and smiled its way along the course to MedInstill at the north end of Housatonic Avenue and back to Young's Field.

The first area finisher was New Milford High School athlete David Klein in 12th place with as time of 16:40, edging 48-year-old Gaylordsville runner Rodney LaFlamme by eight seconds.

For the order of finish and the divisional leaders, check www.roadntracksports.com.