I understand that on a competative level the 17:45 the winner ran would not be very impressive. I just wanted to correct any impression that I may have created that the top 3 finishers had times even close to mine.
Also, while I agree that the quality of top competative runners in the US has declined this race really is no indicator of anything that grand. The majority of the runners in this race ran it to support the charity the race was organized for.
On Sunday, a large, competative, 15k race was run in the area. The best runners from the area were almost certainly at that race and not out running a small charity 5k.