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Local Runners Score in 23rd Annual Ho Ho Ho Holiday Run

Dan McGrath scored his 12th overall victory of the year, Katie DiPietro took top honors among the women, and Peter Hawkins completed still another wheelchair win, as beautiful skies and brisk temperatures greeted the competitors in the 23rd Annual Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Ho Ho Ho Holiday Run on Dec. 18. A total of 1060 runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes navigated the streets of Bethpage before crossing the finish line at the John F. Kennedy Middle School.

A strong contingent of runners from the local area did exceptionally well in this year’s run. The first local finisher to cross the finish line was 15-year-old Tim Mahony of Syosset, who finished in 28th place overall and second in the 15-19 age group with a time of 19 minutes, 24 seconds. The first woman finisher from the local area was Shari Levi Klarfeld of Plainview, who was the second woman overall, and first in the 30-34 age group, in 19:38.

Other local runners who earned awards in the Ho Ho Ho Run included Stephanie Gehrke of Syosset (second, 140-159 pound weight division), Sami Sheinwald of Old Bethpage (third, 15-19 age group), former Syosset High School star Beth Alizzi of Syosset (first, 20-24 age group), Constance Sehlmeyer of Syosset (third, 65-69 age group), Bert Jablon of Syosset (first, 80-plus age group), and Odd Sangesland of Plainview (second, 80-plus age group)

Notwithstanding the great performances of the leading runners, the big emphasis of the day was on families, with lots of mother-daughter, mother-son, father-son and father-daughter duos making their way though the course, and lots of youngsters participating in the free fun run that preceded the main event.

Congratulations and thanks go out to Ric Diveglio of the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) for serving so competently and enthusiastically as the race director once again, to the Melville Intellectual Property Law Firm of Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt for serving as the title sponsor once again, and to Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW for also providing a big financial boost.

Thanks also go out to John Snitko of JMS Racing Services for his quick and accurate results and for being so easy to work with, and to logistics coordinator Fred von der Heydt and race announcer Terry Bisogno for still another outstanding day’s work.

Proceeds from the event will be turned over to The Opening Word, an education program conducted by the Dominican Sisters for poor and uneducated Long Island women to give them the tools they need to become productive members of society.

Finally, thanks go out to Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and Nassau County Legislators Joe Belesi and Rose Marie Walker for being on hand to welcome the participants to the finish line.