Nearly 800 runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes were on hand for the inaugural Blazing Trails 4 Autism 4 Mile Run on Nov. 9, and were treated to an outstanding morning of family fun at the same time as they raised some significant funds to help individuals with autism.
The overall winner of the run was 27-year-old Staten Island speedster Kevin Donofrio, who finished in 21:55, seven seconds in front of runner-up Franklin Diaz. Bay Shore resident Christine Williams, 25, was an easy winner in the Women's Division, finishing in 25:01.
The entire net proceeds of the Run were dedicated to Eden II Programs/The Genesis School and their efforts to provide people with autism specialized community-based programs and other opportunities, with the goal of enabling them to achieve the highest possible quality of living across their lifespans.
The participants enjoyed an eclectic, traffic free course entirely within the boundaries of the Great Neck South High School campus, hooded sweatshirts as giveaways, an incredible post-race raffle highlighted by a Cannondale 2009 CAAD 9 Road Bike generously donated by Brickwell Cycling & Multisports in Great Neck, and some great post-race refreshments highlighted by pastries generously donated by Panera Bread.
The event was staged under the auspices of Eden II Prorams/The Genesis School, with Robyn Schneider as Race Director, and Randy Horowitz and Nancy Phillips serving as the leaders of the Eden II Race Committee. Race management was provided by the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC), under the leadership of GLIRC President Mike Polansky, Course Coordinator Amy Goldstein, and Volunteers Coordinator Mindy Davidson. The Honorary Event Chair of the Race was Great Neck Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ronald Friedman, who was himself a participant in the Run, scoring in 43:27. Outstanding support was provided by the Great Neck School District Security and Custodial staffs.
A special thank you goes to presenting sponsor Brickwell Cycling & Multisports, to major sponsors Anton Media Group, Panera Bread, CD&B Management Attorneys, Different Roads to Learning, Tekniverse, and the Jack Fanning Memorial Foundation, and to supporting sponsors Lynbrook Runner's Stop, Blue Digital, Elija Foundation/Elija School, Elite Dental, Frazer & Feldman, Haitian Sports Foundation, Healthy Clean Buildings, Judith and Benjamin Marks Family Foundation, O'Connor, Davies, Munns & Dobbins, LLP, Oro Puro II, State Bank of Long Island, Judi & Jay Bosworth, and Thivierge & Rothberg PC.
"The inaugural Blazing Trails 4 Autism 4 Mile Run was a great beginning for what is certain to be a major Long Island event for many years to come," said Eden II's Randy Horowitz. "We thank overall winners Kevin Donofrio and Christine Williams, and all our other friends from all over the New York metropolitan area for their support, and look forward to an even bigger contingent to be at the second annual Run in November of 2009."