FREEHOLD, NJ - Five hundred and seventy-nine (579) road racers competed in the 23rd annual St. Paddy’s 10 Mile Race (373, total) and 18th annual Leprechaun 5K (206, total) presented by the Freehold Area Running Club (FARC) at Michael J. Tighe Park, Freehold Township, on the overcast/drizzly morning of Sunday, March 25.   

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Start of 10-mile run.  Photos by Bob Both, www.jsrc.org 

Coming in first place of the 10-miler from the out-and-back course that started and finished at the Park, and used the Roads of Georgia, Nomoco, Pittenger Pond, Jackson Mills, Stonehill, along with DeCicco Circle, and Brandon, Diamond and Aimee Drives was Craig Segal, 27, Highlands at 52:37 (52 minutes and 37 seconds) and on his heels was his friend Robert Dennis, 26, of Princeton, also at 52:37 but just 21/100 of a second slower. Third place finisher was Wall Township’s Jeff Propert at 58:24.

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Leading the pack is Robert Dennis and winner Craig Segal

Because no one was pressing them both Segal and Dennis decided it would be more fun to run together and use it as a workout rather than compete and that’s what they did for the whole ten miles. Although they did cross the finish line together the computer picked up the split-second difference. They also both agreed that the course was great because it was mainly flat but also scenic and the drizzly weather “is great for running” said Segal and Dennis nodded in agreement.

Brondwyn Oleary, 36, Cliffwood Beach was the top female at 1:05:08 (13th place overall). Rounding out the top three of that distaff category were Sara Amitrani, 25, of Red Bank at 1:06:51 (15th overall) and Keara McGraw, 27, of Largo, FL, at 1:09:39 (28th overall).

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Brondwyn Oleary is top female runner.

“I like the course a lot – there are a lot of twists and turns and that makes it challenging and interesting,” said today’s female champion in describing the course. She was a little disappointed in her racing time because she was hoping to get closer to her best time for this race which was 1:03:00. “Today’s weather stinks,” she said but further added, “the temperature is great but I don’t like running in the rain.”

Race finishers 93 and 94, respectively, were Daniel Ricigliano, 12, of Edison  at 1:21:15 and his dad Jeff Ricigliano, 42, at 1:21:19, both with a very respectable 8:08 minute per-mile  pace. They gave each other a high five at the finish-line area and dad informed that they ran together the whole distance. The grandmother/mother was on the scene as a proud observant and informed that she is the mayor of Edison.

Coming in first of the Leprechaun 5K (3.1 miles), that used a shortened part of the main course, but included Eaglenest Road was Billy Foster, 16, of South River at 17:24. He was followed by John Walsh, 32, of Ramsey at 18:52 and third place went to Colts Neck’s Alejandro Penaloza, 19, at 19:38

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Billy Foster wins the 5K race.

The female winner of the 5K was Christine Altland, 22, of Hazlet at 21:03 (10th place overall). Second and third places, respectively, went to: Jenna Kugel, 14, of Skillman at 21:53 (11th overall) and Maddie Whaley, 12, of Cranbury at 22:53 (14th overall).

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Christine Altland is female winner of 5K race.

Freehold’s Hal Smith, 82, finished the Leprechaun 5K at 42:55 just 4 seconds ahead of Elliott Denman, 78, of West Long Branch. “The course has got a lot of give and take - some ups and downs – and some very friendly people along the way, especially Hal,” said Denman when asked to comment. Smith was asked what he thought of today’s weather and gave no verbal response but uttered a negative sound and offered a facial gesture that indicated he wasn’t at all enthralled with the drizzly weather. Both are well known to other long-time racers here in the Shore area.

At the starting line at 9:30 a.m., located about a mile into the Park on the entrance road, Isabel Meldrum, race director, using a bullhorn thanked the 10-mile racers for coming and asked them to offer a moment of silence in honor of our past and present military service people. She then asked them to make sure they crossed over the plates of the Chrono Tracking System D provided by Elite Racing Systems which would record their racing time. Meldrum then gave a three-command start and the racers were off, following the lead vehicle driven by Michael O’Flaherty, past-president of FARC. Fifteen minutes later the 5K would start on the same entrance road but closer to the exit and FARC racewalking member Ron Salvio would drive that lead vehicle.

Race director Meldrum, former president of both FARC and SAC and active race walker, presented Ceramic Shamrocks to the aforementioned winners and age-group leaders at the pavilion of the Park, which served as the staging area.

A great picnic was provided: hot soup, hot dogs, bagels, fruit and soft drinks. This race has been voted as of the best food races in New Jersey.

"I'm very excited about the excellent turnout, 579 runners/racewalkers, and want to thank all the competitors for their support. It was an overcast/drizzly day but near-perfect for running. I want to acknowledge also the know-how cooperation we get from the volunteers (total of 203) from the area clubs (FARC, Jersey Shore Running Club and Shore Athletic Club).  Compliments, too, to the chair people of the organizing committee who did an outstanding job of course management, food preparation and distribution for the athletes. I want to thank Linda Hyer, Mike O’Flaherty, Cathy O’Flaherty, Rich Edwards, Fran Kugelmas, Dave Friedman, Frank Haviland, Tom and Ed Wendel, Marcia and Avram Shapiro, Manny and Roberta Eisner. A thank you also to Fred and Anna Torres of Elite Racing Systems for all their help and to the JSRC who managed the baggage check for the competitors. A special thank you to the Freehold Township Recreation and the staff at Tighe Park who coordinate opening and staffing the park for us. This was the 23rd year of the St Paddy’s 10 Miler and it has its roots in Freehold. This race keeps on growing and my philosophy is that when you put on a quality event the runners will come out and support it. I want to pay gratitude to you one and all. We hope to see you on Sunday March 17, 2013. Our website is http://www.farcnj.com/ ” said director Meldrum in an E-mail overview.

Meldrum has served the running/race walking community by being president of both the Shore Athletic Club as well as the Freehold Area Running Club. She recalls and is proud of race walking a 100K (100 kilometers) out in Xenia, Ohio at the USATF National 100 Mile/100K Championship over a decade ago in which she earned an award and that distance for many who are unfamiliar with the metric system is 62 miles!  

Other finishers of the 10-mile distance:

   Herald area:  Sara Amitrani 1:06:51, Red Bank;  Ted Mellor 1:16:49, Little Silver;  George Pavlonnis 1:22:06, Leonardo;  Raymond Chiusano 1:24:21, Middletown;  Mike Thatcher 1:25:06, and Cerrone Dayo 1:30:22, Red Bank;  Javier Damien 1:33:11, Middletown;  Melissa Timm 1:35:25, Atl. Highlands;  Sarah Black 1:35:25, Navesink;  Sheryl Nishiura 1:35:40, Red Bank;  Jennifer Dowd-Mellor 1:38:50, Little Silver;  Mary Moriarty 1:40:36, Highlands;  Francesca Mazzucola 1:42:41, Rumson;  Julie Lehr 1:51:24 and Anne Amato 1:54:47, Red Bank;  Jeanne Hartline 1:54:47, Little Silver;  Kevin Mullahy 2:04:39, Middletown.

   Freehold leaders:  Chad Safran 1:04:45,  James Caraluzzi 1:17:04,  Chris Parr 1:18:58,  Bryan Foley 1:19:39,  Chrissy Weber 1:19:59,  Erica Sinatra 1:22:19,  Thomas Foley 1:23:09,  Denise Zolnowski 1:23:14,  Robin Fernandez 1:23:52,  Kimberly Karpinski 1:24:04,  Robin Markson 1:24:30,  Warren Zwirn 1:26:58,  George Shimanovich 1:27:11,  John Drudy 1:29:48,  Carl Danziger 1:30:43,  William Burlew 1:30:49,  Dick Heuser 1:35:14 (former director of FARC Summer Series),  Julie Hall 1:36:03,  Lorraine Yoncak 1:37:55,  Sandra Etlinger 1:38:03,  Doug Weber 1:38:06,  Paie Frothingham 1:39:53,  Kim Hansen 1:42:15,  Valeria Miller 1:42:53,  Barbara Kaufman 1:43:17,  John Martin 1:43:45,  Kim Kiely 1:44:04.

   Other Monmouth County leaders:  Gary Wersinger 1:01:36, West Long Branch (award winner, 5th place overall, returning to racing after a 6-year hiatus);  Ro Ditota 1:04:47, Englishtown;  Jeremy James 1:04:49, Howell;  Miles Hersey 1:05:02, Hazlet;  Don Griffin 1:05:54, Belmar;  Jim Segal 1:07:12, Holmdel;  Matt Nunnally 1:07:34, Avon;  Patrick Applegate 1:07:40, Matawan;  Arthur Smith III 1:07:42, Howell;  Daniel Repetti 1:07:48, Manalapan;  Jim Redeker 1:09:01, Lake Como;  Lee Marconi 1:09:31, Manalapan;  Ann O’Dowd 1:09:58, Colts Neck;  Patrick Hynes 1:10:04;  Adam Dagostino1:10:48 and Maggie Freeman 1:10:51 (past vice-president of FARC),  Manalapan;  Norman Miller 1:12:49, Manasquan;  Robin Campbell 1:14:05, Aberdeen;  Tracy Kochian 1:14:29, Morganville.  

Other finishers of the 5K distance:

   Herald area: Clay Heller 20:52, Belford,  Danielle Testa 24:20, Monmouth Beach;  Debra Debra Hufford-Nee 26:51 and Matthew Nee 30:06, Belford.

    Freehold area leaders:  Kristen DiCerto 28:28,  Michael Vota 28:38,  Bill Baumann 28:44,  Denise Edyeworth 28:46,  Michael Crivello 28:55,  Lisa Reed 28:57,  Joe Nulty 29:15,  Patrick Murphy 29:29,  Kathleen Huston 30:20,  Karen Gaffey 30:28,  Kevin Schulze 30:43,  Patrick Ryan 30:53,  Chris Naspo 30:54,  Otto Cabeza 31:18,  Lucinda Monica 32:10.

   Other Monmouth County leaders:  David Laconte 19:58, Eatontown;  Michael Chiera 22:25, Lindsay Chiera 22:57 and Matthew Somodi 23:54, Howell;  Bonnie Sheehan 25:05, Manalapan;  Lorianne Megill 25:26, Long Branch;  Torre Avitabile 25:36 and Stephen Gordon 26:04, Holmdel;  Ron Ackerman 26:19 and Colleen Tully 26:23, Howell.      

Road racing events continue in Middletown on April 1 with the Annual Indian Trails 15K Road Race & 3 Mile Run/Walk at 9 a.m., info at 732-915-0567. In Long Branch on April 7 is the Celtic Tribute 5K at 11 a.m. Info call 732-571-2162 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..