Runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes of all ages and levels of ability are cordially invited to enter the 22nd annual Nationwide Insurance 10 Kilometer Run for ASPIRE, to be held on the roads of Plainview-Old Bethpage on Saturday morning, April 10.
The 1999 edition of the run is once again dedicated to the memory of Stanley Kramberg, the Nationwide Insurance agent who devoted so much of his time, energy and money to the run and to the ASPIRE Program generally over the past several years. Stan lost his courageous battle to cancer in the summer of 1997, and the proceeds of this year's run will be used to continue the Stanley Kramberg Memorial ASPIRE Scholarship Fund to help the young amputee graduates of the ASPIRE Program further their education.
The ASPIRE Run is being hosted once again by the Greater Long Island Running Club, with the assistance and support of the Town of Oyster Bay Department of Recreation and Parks. In addition to Nationwide Insurance, acting through the Anthony Wiszowaty Agency, other financial assistance is being provided by the real estate management firm RGE, Inc. and by Vytra Healthcare. Chester Mountain Spring Water is also on board as a sponsor providing water at the finish line and water stops.
The 1999 Nationwide Run for ASPIRE will begin and finish at the HB Mattlin Middle School located on Washington Avenue in Plainview. The starting gun will go off promptly at 9 a.m. on the morning of April 10. There will also be a special 1/2 mile fun run for youngsters age 12 and under starting at 8:10 a.m. and a 10 Kilometer Racewalk starting at 9:05 a.m.
"The Nationwide Insurance 10K Run for ASPIRE has traditionally been the first major event of the running calendar here on Long Island, and we hope to see another strong turnout in 1999." observed Bob Windorf, who along with Craig Courounis will be serving as the two new co-directors of the run. "We have always tried to give runners and walkers the best race possible for their money, and the record numbers who took part on the 1998 run proved that we are doing something right! I'm looking forward to welcoming all our local Long Island runners plus runners from all over the New York metropolitan area and beyond to Plainview on April 10!" Top local runners in the 1998 edition of the run included: Livio Percan, Frank Trentacoste and Elizabeth Penagos.
Age group awards will be presented to the top three males and top three female finishers in each age group through 80 and older, and the race committee expects to give out full complement of awards in those higher age groups. In addition, there will be a team competition for male and female teams in the Open, 40 to 49, 50 to 59 and 60 and over age divisions. In addition to top overall, age group and team awards, special awards will be presented to the top three male and female wheelchair athletes, the top three male and female open racewalkers, the top three male and female masters racewalkers, and the top "Clydesdale" runners. Special recognition will also go to the top finishers among the many amputees from the ASPIRE program who participate. The awards ceremony will be punctuated by a giant raffle, with all entrants eligible to win.
The entire net proceeds of the run will once again be donated to ASPIRE, the special program established in conjunction with Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Hospital for Special Surgery to provide prosthetic devices, intensive therapy and rehabilitation through athletics to young amputees, victims of sarcoma (bone cancer) and traumatic amputations. This year's run will mark the fourth anniversary of the opening of the new ASPIRE Headquarters as part of a new complex in Manhasset that now provides for all needs of individuals who undergo amputations - prosthetics, physical therapy, sports medicine, outreach and group support - all in the same facility, and will continue the work of the new Stanley Kramberg Memorial ASPIRE Scholarship Fund that provides continued support for the education of the young people in the program. So in addition to enjoying a top quality running or walking experience, everyone who enters the Nationwide 10K will have the satisfaction of knowing that his or her entry fee will help promote the well being of a bunch of youngsters who have suffered the tragedy of amputation.
The Plainview course was professionally laid out by David Katz of Finish Line Road Race Technicians, assisted by members of the Greater Long Island Running Club. It provides a dramatic combination of demanding hills and level straightaways through some of the most scenic roads in central Long Island, including a mile and a half stretch along Round Swamp Road, past the Old Bethpage Restoration Village.
The 1998 edition of the Run was won by Matt Wilinson of New York, while Regina Ronan of Northport repeated as Women's champion. The Masters champions were Phil Richley of Danbury, CT., and Kathryn Martin of Northport. The course of 30:27 was set by Pat Peterson of Bay Shore in 1988 and Angela Hearn of New York City set the women's course record of 34:55 in 1989.
The entry fee is $15 for those who register in advance ($13 for members of the Greater Long Island Running Club), and $18 for those who register on the day of the run. The fee for the Fun Run is $7 preregistered and $8 day of race. For entry forms or more information, call Greater Long Island Running Club President Mike Polansky at 349-7646.