LONG BRANCH, NJ - For twenty-one years, the Jersey Shore Running Club has presented a race on Easter Saturday morning and for its 22nd year, on April 7, it continues as it did last year in its inaugural with a brand new title, the Celtic Tribute 5K that will benefit the scholarship fund of Patrolman Benevolent Association Local 10 in memory of all its Fallen Officers. The event also has a 2-Mile Family Walk & JSRC Kids’ Races. This year, in addition to supporting the scholarship fund, $2 from each entry will be donated to the West End Fire Relief Fund to help those people displaced by the devastating fire that took place on February 13, 2012.

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Remembering fallen officers at start of Celtic Tribute 5K.

The out and back course, a 3.1 mile distance, that was raced on the Long Branch Promenade/ boardwalk started at the north end of the Promenade, went south onto the boardwalk/Ocean Avenue to a three-street turn-around and then back to finish on the Long Branch Great Lawn.

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Dave Slavinski wins the Celtic Tribute 5K in 16:05.

 Dave Slavinski, 40, of Point Pleasant was today’s winner at 16:05 (16 minutes and five seconds). Coming in second place of the total 297 competitors was Howell’s Tyler Gillies, 19, at 16:46 and third place on this windy (NW direction) morning went to Matthew Weissinger, 25, of Somerville, MA, at 16:54.

 “A few of us were together at first but I soon went out in front and held the lead the whole way,” informed Slavinsky in explaining his championship performance.  Slavinsky can boast of being second finisher in last year’s running of the Spring Lake Five Mile Run. Slavinski lost to Mike Rolek who scored 25:10 and Slavinski was just 5 seconds behind Rolek but beating 8,161 other competitors, 4,274 of which were males of this annual Memorial Day event that is the largest race in New Jersey and the largest five-mile race in the nation.  

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Allison Linnell, of Colts Neck, is women’s champion finishing in 17:44.

 Allison Linnell, 21, of Colts Neck was the women’s winner at 17:44 (5th place overall). Second and third-place women, respectively, went to Diane DeOliviera, 41, of Osbornsville at 19:12 (11th overall) and Amber Hart, 33, Belmar at 19:55 (19th overall – last year’s women’s champion).

 “At no time did I even try, she (the champion) had a good lead and I knew I couldn’t catch her,” answered runner-up DeOliveira when asked if she tried to catch Linnell.    

The top ten male police officer finishers were  Domini Cicio 23:10, East Brunswick;  Russell Flynn 23:31, Middletown; Joshua Bard M 23:59, Long Branch; Michael Bobadilla 24:58, North Brunswick; Michael Reuter 26:30, Middletown; Anthony Gigante 26:54, Belford; Mark Razzoli 26:55, Old Bridge;  Anthony Iannicco, 27:01, Brick; Albert Scott 27:06, Keansburg ; and David House 27:33, Long Branch.

Top female police officers were  Amber Hart 19:55, Belmar (last y ear's overall female race champion); Heather Hollis Valdes 29:25, Long Branch;  and Rose Condello  36:02, Jackson.

Middletown Police Local 124 was presented the award for the represented PBA.

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  • Middletown PBA Local wins award for best representation at Celtic Tribute 5K.

 Long Branch’s Nancy Thorne finished at 26:59, a respectable 8:42 per-mile pace. “I’m satisfied with my racing time considering the wind today,” Thorne said, when asked how she felt about her performance. Nancy will be directing the Tenth Annual Michael W.Thorne Scholarship 4 Mile Run/Walk scheduled for May 20th at Franklin Lake in West Long Branch. It’s a memorial event to Nancy’s fireman brother who died in line of duty.

 Aaron Levine, 32, of Long Branch posted a 23:30 racing time, good for 4th place in the age group and just missing an award by 20 seconds that goes only to the top three in the age-groups.  But he was happy. “This is a PR (personal record) for me!”  When Levine is not working at his Auto, Home, Boat, Business, Life, Health Insurance business in Long Branch (West End section) he’ll, probably be at another local aquatic fitness center but is missed by friends (including this writer) in West Long Branch at the Monmouth University Fitness Center and Pool where he used to work out in the morning always training for races such as this but also an Ironman challenge in which he is prone to compete.  

 Highly decorated Vietnam veteran, with four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, Joseph Renzella, 70, of Neptune City, finished at 30:47 and that was good for third place in his 70-79 age group. He said of the weather, “Going out the wind was with us, but coming back it was rough.”

 Olie Nelson 76, of Farmingdale was in at 26:55 and won second place award in his age group. “I was happy with my racing time – I wanted to get in under 27 minutes and I did it,” he said. There were four septuagenarians that raced this event.

 Ocean Township’s Bob Hayes finished the 3.1 miles in 44:18.  The 3.1 miles is a mile and a tenth more than Hayes does every day of his life, 365 days a year and 366 on leap year. He started this everyday 2-mile exercise on February 13, 1982 because he was determined to lose weight and he liked to run. The one time in all those 30 years he had a medical appointment, he did his two miles first and then did what the doctor ordered.

 The Fallen Officers as mentioned above are printed on the green T-Shirts of the event. They are: Patrolman Herman Emmons – End of Watch 12 -17 – 1921; Patrolman William Richards – End of Watch 10 – 23 – 1967; Sergeant Patrick King – End of Watch  11 – 20 – 1997.

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Start of Celtic Tribute 5K on Long Branch beachfront.

 At the starting line at 11 a.m., Phil Hinck thanked the racers for coming on this pleasant, but windy day and gave them an overview of the course and instructed them to make sure they went over the metal plates at the starting line that were placed there by Fred Torres of Elite Racing Systems that records their racing time. 

PBA delegate and race committee member Scott Beaver addressed the crowd with the following words: "As you remember our Fallen Officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives to Honor, Duty and Courage. Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls our resolve to serve those in need are not diminished; our dedication to protecting those in danger is not weakened; our commitment to remembering those with whom we shared the badge does not fade. Godspeed brothers you fought the good fight.  Now rest in peace. "

Hinck next introduced race committee member Pat Joyce, a retired Long Branch police officer, who thanked the racers and sang our National Anthem with many racers joining in. Then Hinck gave a three-command start and the racers were off following three lead motorcycles driven by Long Branch policemen.

Following the race, awards of custom green coffee mugs were presented at the Long Branch Great Lawn bandshell, to the aforementioned winners and age-group leaders by Joyce, assisted by JSRC Board Member Penny Hinck.  Raffle prizes were offered due to the generosity of the local community.

"I want to thank race committee members:  Scott Beaver, Pat Joyce, and Kevin and Maureen Martin.  I want to recognize the race-day volunteers who contributed their time and effort in making the race successful, especially my wife Penny who really does all the work on raceday. The Torres family of www.eliteracingsystems.com did the computerized results and Mikal Kuhi handling the course clocks. The event has been successful every year since 1990 due to the help of our sponsors and we hope to continue doing it for such great causes," said Hinck in an E-mail message.

Other leading finishers of the windy but scenic Celtic Tribute 5K:

Race area:  Long Branch:  Robert Sculff 18:02,  Joey Keagle 20:23,  Mark Sullivan 22:26,  Michael Truett 22:56,  Audrey Ging 23:25,  Aaron Levine 23:30,  Daniel Bostock 23:34,  Kevin Verbovsky 23:40,  Joshua Bard 23:59,  Christian Wagner 24:46,  Nancy Thorne 26:59,  Ivan Brown 27:11,  David House 27:43.

Other race area:  Joe Gallo 21:21, West Long Branch;  George Binaco 21:57, Oakhurst;  Jesse Elkeberry 22:20, Shrewsbury;  Tom Reardon 22:54, Little Silver;  Danielle Testa 22:59, Monmouth Beach;  Thomas Clark 23:27, Ocean;  Vincent Biancamano Jr. 23:47, West Long Branch;  Diva Ciani 23:55, Oceanport;  Sean Edson 24:23, Oakhurst;  Karen Kelly 25:37, Oceanport;  Matthew Guido 25:46, Ocean;  Robert Scesa 25:56, Oceanport;  Ryan Loehr 26:00, West Long Branch;  Kelly Cronin 27:20, Little Silver;  Thomas Burke 27:26, Ocean;  Michael Scibetti 27:31, West Long Branch;  Stuart Newman 27:41, Oakhurst;  Daniel Oldroyd 27:45, Little Silver. 

 Herald area leading finishers:  Jeff Propert  17:00, Red Bank;  Clay Heller 19:46, Belford;  John Gore 19:49, Middletown;  James Guerrieri 20:25, Belford;  Bridget Dowd 21:51, Fair Haven;  Tim Macaluso 23:22, Monmouth Beach;  Russell Flynn 23:31, Middletown;  Grant Heller 24:06, Belford;  Robert Dowd 24:11, Red Bank;  Dara Pfeil 24:36, Fair Haven;  Bill Burke 25:05, Atl. Highlands;  Erin Cullen 25:07 and David Tuttle 25:35, Red Bank;  Jordan Tapke 25:40, Fair Haven;  David Satterthwaite 25:55, Red Bank;  Theresa Wolfe 25:57, Fair Haven;  Michael Reuter 26:30, Middletown;  Melissa Blatt 26:32, Leonardo;  Karl Pfeil 26:35, Fair Haven;  Mary Moriarty 26:40, Highlands;  Thomas Shore 26:44 and Joe Shore 26:45, Rumson;  Patrick Quigley 26:51, Middletown;  Anthony Gigante 26:54, Belford.

  Other Monmouth County leading finishers:  Matt Nunnally 19:17, Avon;  James Segal 19:29, Holmdel (62 years old, won his age-group, closest competitor was nearly 5 minutes later); David Laconte 19:45, Eatontown;  Donavan Hackley 20:08, Keansburg;  Scott Linnell 20:11, Colts Neck;  Steve Prefontaine 20:13, Bradley Beach;  Doug Campbell 20:20, Eatontown;  Ed Moran 21:04, Matawan;  Rob Neugass 21:14, Marlboro;  Gregory Young 21:23, Spring Lake Heights;  Liz Spector 21:38, Manalapan;  Mike Barrows 22:35, Shrewsbury;  Will Spector 22:40, Manalapan;  Jack Bleach 22:48, Belmar;  John Moetz 22:53, Manalapan;  Amapola Espinoza 23:33, Colts Neck;  Maria Caldarise 23:39, Freehold;  Raven Sepuri 24:41, Morganville;  Peter Henderson 24:46, Allenhurst;  Erica Linnell 24:51, Colts Neck;  Nicole Stallone 24:54, Manalapan;  Robin Doyle 24:58, Belmar.

 Road-racing continues on April 28 with the JSRC Lake Como 5K at 10 a.m. at Bar Anticipation, info call 732-223-5307 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..