The 30th anniversary Nationwide Insurance 10 Kilometer Run for ASPIRE almost had to be something special, and it certainly was - featuring what has to be classified as one of the greatest duels to the finish in this and perhaps any other local road race in recent memory. The run was held on the roads of Plainview-Old Bethpage and Bethpage, on Saturday morning, March 31, with the start and finish at the H.B. Mattlin Middle School on Washington Avenue in Plainview.
Bellmore Strider teammates Chris Fogarazzo and Chris Mammone ran together stride for stride for most of the 6.2 mile course, and it wasn't till the final stride and lean that Fogarazzo emerged as the winner. Both were timed in 31:46. Pawtucket, RI, speedster Janelle Kraus had a far easier time winning the women's division with a time of 35:25, nearly three full minutes faster than runner-up Tara Wilson of Lindenhurst, and only 30 seconds shy of the women's course record set by Angela Hearn in 1989.
Top Masters honors went to 52-year-old Jaime Palacios , who was the ninth runner overall to cross the finish line, and 42-year-old Deborah Gaebler of Irvington, NY, who was the third-place female finisher overall. Jamie was the first GLIRC member to finish, and Kathy Martin (4th woman OA and 2nd Master) was the first female Club finisher.
Top local finishers included John Del Maestro of Woodbury, who scored as the 12th runner overall and first in the 50-54 age group, Janice Lambertucci of Bethpage, 3rd women in the Athena 140-159 Athena Weight Division, Matthew Botta of Plainview, 3rd 15-19, John Horan of Bethpage, 3rd 20-24, Richard Kleiman of Plainview, 3rd 60-64, Odd Sangesland of Plainview, 3rd 75-79, Bert Jablon of Syosset, 1st 80 and over, George Dennis of Muttontown, 2nd 80 and over, and Lori Scheinwald of Old Bethpage, 1st Female Masters Racewalker.
The entire net proceeds of the run were once again turned over to the ASPIRE Program for the rehabilitation of young amputees through athletics, and lots of amputee athletes - including several from the A Step Ahead rehab program were at the Run to try their skills against the able bodied athletes. The top amputee finisher was Tom Koehler in 42:12.
Thanks and congratulations go to Bob Windorf for an serving once again as the Director of the Run. Thanks go to Tony Wiszowaty and his Nationwide Insurance Agency for serving as the title sponsor of the event once again, and to Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and the outstanding folks from the town's recreation department for their incredible support. Supervisor Venditto, Town Councilwoman Rose Walker and Family Court Judge Richard Lawrence were all on hand to cheer the runners on. As always, Diane Blanchard and her crew from the Town's Recreation Department were especially important to the logistical success of the event.
Thanks also to Bob Cook and the gang from the Runner's Edge, to the great folks from Trader Joe's of Plainview and Anthony Narcisco of Mizuno for their support as well.