Runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes of all ages and levels of ability from this area, East Norwich, Mill Neck, Bayville and nearby North Shore communities are cordially invited to enter the 25th annual Nationwide Insurance10 Kilometer Run for ASPIRE, which is to be held on the roads of Plainview-Old Bethpage on Saturday morning, April 6.
All smiles as they jointly announce the 25th edition of the Nationwide Insurance Run for ASPIRE are, left to right: Race co-Director Craig Courounis, Tony Wiszowaty of Nationwide Insurance, race co-Director Bob Windorf and Jeff Cooper of Nationwide Insurance.
The 2002 Nationwide Run for ASPIRE will begin and finish at the H.B. Mattlin Middle School, located on Washington Avenue in Plainview. The starting gun will go off promptly at 9 a.m. 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.
This year's 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. Nationwide Insurance, led by Tony Wiszowaty and Stan's son-in-law Jeff Cooper, will once again be the primary sponsors of the run.
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, other support for the run is being provided by Trader Joe's, Vytra Health Plans, Mizumo Shoes, and The Runner's Edge.
"We are thrilled that a public-spirited businessman like Tony Wiszowaty and the good people of Nationwide Insurance have chosen to support this important event again in 2002," observed Bob Windorf who along with Craig Courounis will be serving as the two co-directors of the run for the fourth year, "and we are pleased to welcome our friends from Vytra Health Plans, The Runner's Edge, Mizumo Shoes and Trader Joe's back again. The Nationwide Insurance 10K Run for Aspire has traditionally been the first major event of the running calendar here on Long Island and we expect to put on another great race in 2002."
Age group awards will be presented to the top three male and top three female finishers in each of 15 age groups through 80 and older, and the Race Committee expects to give out a full complement of awards in those higher age groups. In addition, 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" and "Filly" runners. Special recognition will also go to the top finishers among the many amputees from the ASPIRE Program who participate. Special medals will be presented to each finisher in the Fun Run. The Awards Ceremony will be punctuated by a Giant Raffle, with all entrants eligible to win. Free massage from licensed massage therapists will be available for all participants.
Every entrant in both the 10K and the Fun Run will receive a special commemorative long sleeve T-shirt.
The ASPIRE 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 2002 edition of the run will be part of the KeySpan Grand Prix of Long Island running and will serve as Long Island Track & Field's 10 Kilometer Championship race for 2002.
The 2001 edition of the run was won by Mike Guastella of Yaphank in 32:51, with Donna McMahon of Farmingdale scoring as the women's champion in 36:42, and Jimmy Fulton of Dix Hills topping the Wheelchair division. Top local finishers in 2001 included Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay who took first-place honors among the women in the 50 to 54 age group.
The course record 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, and race officials feel that several potential 2002 entrants have a shot at those records.
The entry fee is $18 for those who register in advance ($15 for members of the Greater Long Island Running Club), and $20 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 (516) 349-7646, or visit the club's website at www.glirc.org. On-line registration for the run will be available at www.runevent.com.