On Saturday, April 10, runners, wheelchair athletes and race walkers from all over the New York Metropolitan area flocked to the local area to participate in the 23rd annual running of the prestigious Nationwide Insurance 10 Kilometer Run for ASPIRE, which is the first major race of the year in Nassau County.
The oldest female participant in the run this year was 70-year-old Vera Allen of Port Washington. Vera completed the 6.2 mile course through the roads of Plainview and Old Bethpage in 1 hour, 10 minutes, 19 seconds, placing her in 706th place overall out of 764 finishers.
Also winning an award in the ASPIRE 10 K run was Jorge Aguilera of Port Washington, who took 2nd place honors in the 55-59 age group in 44 minutes, 44 second.
Other top finishers from Port Washington included Pedro Pereira (41:49), Jim Larkin (47:02), Bernadette Cunningham (47:02), Lloyd Herman (50:54). Nancy Bolger (52:54), Michael Pollack (56:32), Michael Leoce (1:02:08), James Moyer (1:02:41) and race walker Jo Ann Mulchinski (1:16:54).
The Run was conducted under the auspices of the Greater Long Island Running Club, with Craig Courounis and Bob Windorf serving as the co-directors of the Run. David Katz of Port Washington served as the Technical Director of the run.
The primary sponsor of the ASPIRE Run was once again Nationwide Insurance, and Tony Wiszowaty of Nationwide was on hand to cheer the athletes on. Other key sponsors included Trader Joes, with Sal Cipolla, the assistant manager of Trader Joes' Plainview store on hand with his staff, The Runner's Edge of Farmingdale, Balance Bar, and Vytra Health Plans. Donna Howard, the community relations director of Vytra Health Plans supervised the team that staffed the water station at the 1.5 mile mark on Haypath Road.
As always, the entire net proceeds of the Run were turned over to the ASPIRE program for the rehabilitation of young amputees, victims of bone cancer, birth defects and traumatic amputations. David Balsley, the chief executive officer of ASPIRE, was an enthusiastic participant in the Run. The run was once again dedicated to the memory of Stanley Kramberg, the Nationwide Insurance Agent who was an enthusiastic runner, an active member of the Greater Long Island Running Club and a strong supporter of the ASPIRE Program. Stan lost his battle to brain cancer several years ago, but his name lives on through this run and its support of the ASPIRE Program. A special scholarship has been set up in Stan's name to help young amputees from the ASPIRE Program continue their education.
This year's Nationwide Insurance Plan for ASPIRE served as the 10 Kilometer championship race for Long Island Track & Field, and was part of the 2000 Long Island Grand Prix of Road Races co-sponsored by KeySpan Energy and Long Island Track & Field.
"We are thrilled to have so many of our Port Washington friends on hand to ensure the success of this year's run," observed Co-Race Director Craig Courounis. "It was a wonderful morning and the good folks from Port Washington helped make it so!"