A record breaking total of 1253 runners and walkers crossed the Bethpage High School finish line at the 14th annual Ho Ho Ho Holiday Run on Saturday morning, Dec. 22; 1474 folks were registered for the event, also a record.
Miriam Mulvey of Westbury (#709) heads for the finish.
The overall winners were Jose Zayas of Jamaica, Queens, who completed the 5 Kilometer (3.1 Mile) course in 15 minutes 29 seconds, top female Brooke Carney of Golden, Colorado in 17:58, and top Wheelchair racer Peter Hawkins of Malverne, who scored in 16:17. Top Masters (age 40 plus) finishers were 49-year-old Paul Mascali of Manhasset, who was 8th overall in 16:38, and 50-year-old Kathy Martin of Northport, who was the second woman overall in 18:13.
Top Westbury finishers were 15 year old Lisa Mulvey, who crossed the finish line in 21:37, and Lisa's mom Miriam Mulvey, who finished in 22:59 to take second place honors in the Women's 50-54 age group. Other Westbury runners successfully completing the Run were Jerome Ferrara (23:27), Travis Rochon (25:06), David Lloyd (25:23), Maureen Hutcheon (29:36), Dawson Hunter (30:02), Anthony NcNamara (30:48), Maureen Campodonico (32:35), Herb Waldren (33:37), Daniel Minchella (33:48), Glen Ehrenman (33:49), Catherine Calamari (33:52), Anne McNamara (33:58), and Linda Murphy (36:56)
But the real story of the day wasn't about winning and losing, but about the incredible turnout of recreational athletes, many of them dressed as Santas, elves, reindeers and other denizens of the Holiday season. The total of 1253 finishers was 400 more than finished the 2001 edition of the Run, great testimony to the increasing popularity of the racing programs offered by the Greater Long Island Running Club, and the warm welcome the runners and walkers receive from the friendly Bethpage community. An additional 60 youngsters participated in the 1/4 Mile Fun Run on the Bethpage High School track that preceded the main event.
The proceeds of this year's Run will be distributed to the "Bretton Bowl" Fund for local needy families and the Maurer Foundation for Breast Health Education.
Congratulations to Race Directors Joe Sturgess and Bob Sherman of the Greater Long Island Running Club, and Technical Director David Katz of Finish Line Road Race technicians for an outstanding job once again this year, and to Greater Long Island Running Club Coordinator of Volunteers Mindy Davidson and the more than a hundred volunteers who contributed to the success of the Run. This year's Run was sponsored by two outstanding Long Island corporate citizens - Vitamin World/Nutrition Warehouse and Grubb & Ellis realtors. Extra special thanks go to Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and outgoing Town Councilman Len Symons as well for their enthusiastic and vital support.
"This was a great morning for the Long Island Running community," observed Race Co-Director Bob Sherman. "We are happy that we will be able to make another substantial contribution to the community through the Bretton Bowl Fund, and that other moneys will be turned over to the Maurer Foundation for their important work in combating the deadly scourge of breast cancer. We hope to do even better on December 21, 2002, as we celebrate the 15th annual Ho Ho Ho Holiday Run."