Photos by Bob Both, Jersey Shore Running Club.
LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Irish, according to encyclopedia information, brought the end-of-summer season activities of Halloween to America in the 1840's and the custom that causes our children to say "trick or treat' has its origin much earlier in ninth-century Europe. But it was just 20 years ago that the Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC), with a play on words of that popular phrase, brought us its annual Trick or Trot Race (now a 5K distance, previously it was 4 miles) and was presented at the Long Branch oceanfront on the sunny/windy, but good-racing-weather Sunday morning of October 27. The race benefits homeless animals and the main beneficiary is the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
Joe Berardi, 26, of Middletown was first into the finish-line chute, set up by Eliteracingsytems.com and placed inside Seven Presidents Park, of the total 293 competitors and cause the digital clock to display 17:23 (17 minutes and 23 seconds). Frank Durkin, 15, of Whiting was second-place finisher at 19:59 and third-place male finisher but 5th place overall was Ocean’s TJ Frabizio, 40, at 20:57.
“Yes, I was in the lead right from the start,” answered Berardi in describing his championship performance and informed that “having a competitor near you is sometimes better; it makes you run a bit faster.” Today’s runner-up came in over 2 ½ minutes after Berardi. “Fifteen minutes, probably about eight years ago,” the champion informed is his PR (personal record) for this distance. He described the course as “attractive” and the “boardwalk was in great shape.”
When runner-up Durkin was asked if he tried to catch the leader: “No – he was too far in front so I was content to be second,” said the sophomore at Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River. “A bit windy,” he said of the weather.
First and second place for the women went to Brianne Kilian, 26, and Jamie Liberti, 27, both of Middletown and good friends who raced together for the entire 3.1 miles and wanted to cross the finish line together and really did, but the computer scored them at 20:09 and 20:10, respectively (3rd and 4th place overall). Third place for the women, from this out and back course, that starts on the northern end of the Promenade goes through Pier Village onto Ocean Avenue to a halfway turnaround of cones, went to Inez Crismali, 36, of East Windsor at 21:49 (11th overall).
“I love the Trick or Trot Race” said Crismali and explained why: “ It’s a fun day – everybody gets dressed up – they have an animal parade.” When asked if she tried to catch the leaders, she responded, “No, they were too far in front of me so I was happy, very happy, to be coming in third.”
Septuagenarian friends, of this octogenarian writer, Joe Renzella, 72, of Neptune City and Olie Nelson, 77, of Farmingdale were content with their racing times of 30:04 and 28:15, respectively, knowing that the aging process will slow you down. Both were proud to have supported this event whose proceeds go to the SPCA. Other 70-year-olds competing were David Gross, 72, of Morganville at 26:29, the award winner, Elliott Denman, 79, (racewalker) of West Long Branch at 45:25 and Bricktown’s Fred Howlett, 74, at 47:07.
“Because of Hurricane Sandy, we cancelled this race last year,” said Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider, who was very satisfied with his racing time of 29:13. “But we bounced back – we still have work to do – but I’m proud that we bounced back!”
At the 11 a.m. starting line, on the Promenade, Phil Hinck, race starter, informed the awaiting runners of necessary details concerning the course, including the one water spot that would service the racers and that they should make use of it. Here also David Demonico, champion runner but not competing, would be playing motivational music on his trumpet for the competitors. Hinck then introduced Ranney School 4th grader Maya Jacoby, Long Branch, who gave a fine rendition of our National Anthem. He then shouted a loud “Ready, Go!” and the racers were off.
Mike Procopio, race director for the Trick or Trot, emailed post-race that he “was very pleased with the results of the day and grateful for all of the support that was provided for the different events. These included a 5k race, a pet walk, kids races and costume parades for adults, kids & pets. The proceeds from the day benefit the Monmouth County SPCA and the many volunteers included groups from the MCSPCA, the JSRC and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. “
Following the kids’ races, 5k run and pet walk, an awards’ ceremony was held, where first-time Director Procopio, assisted by the Great Pumpkin, awarded “witches” trophies to the swiftest costumed runners and to those wearing the best-judged costumes in the costume parade. Championship awards were presented to race winners in the Overall, Masters, Grand Masters and Senior Grand Masters categories, and age group leaders were given bright orange Trick or Trot sweatshirts.
Other leading finishers of the Trick or Trot: Atlantic Highlands Herald area: Kevin Garrison 21:20, Leonardo; Dana Jacoby 21:32, Monmouth Beach; Carly Clifton 21:53 and Michael Curran 22:31, Red Bank; Dennis Ide 23:07, Little Silver; Jane Mallach 23:18 and Doug Mallach 23:19, Rumson; Melissa Oster 23:43, Belford; Robert Piasecki 24:26, Monmouth Beach; Stacey Considine 24:28, Red Bank; Thomas Trotter 25:06, Port Monmouth; Jamie McCarthy 25:17, Belford; Steve Lombardi 25:23, Middletown; Karissa Trotter 25:29, Port Monmouth; Dominique Wedwaldt 26:11, Middletown; Chris Collins 26:24, Little Silver; Karen Rodriguez 28:07, Fair Haven; Martin Dugan 28:35, Middletown; Karl H. Leiningen 29:21, Port Monmouth; Evan Quigley 30:02 and John Quigley 30:03, Rumson; Mike Relli 30:59, Little Silver; Frank Demarco 31:04, Highlands; Gene Ferris 31:15, Sea Bright; Meghan Winston 31:21 and Kate Damm 31:29, Red Bank.
Monmouth County: Robert Galizio 21:30, Spring Lake; Luis Fernandez 21:36, Neptune; Marcelo Giraldo 22:46, Howell; Matt Frabizio 22:48, Ocean; Patrick McIntyre 22:53, Bradley Beach; Missy Gordon 22:55, Holmdel; Lorianne Megill 23:09, Long Branch; Shawn Kingsley 23:29, Oceanport; Tom Delisa 23:34, Ocean; Jim Adams 23:37, Freehold; Kevin Wulfhorst 23:51, Tinton Falls; Rob Jaeger 24:08, Marlboro; Bryan Mejia 24:42, Long Branch; Robert Hyde 25:22, Colts Neck; Daniel Gerber 25:49, Freehold; Karen Kelly 25:54, Oceanport; Javier Giraldo 25:54, Howell; Krista Mistretta 25:55, Oceanport; Lisa Miele 26:05, Lincroft; Krista Casella 26:06, Oceanport; Colleen Desimme 26:08, West Long Branch; S.T. Bullock 26:12, Avon; Holly Basile 26:19, Wall; Todd Lesser 26:21, Aberdeen; Ryan Loehr 26:25, West Long Branch; Stephen Fratini 26:27, Eatontown; David Gross 26:29, Morganville; Amanda Smyth 27:00, Oakhurst; Carl Turner 27:01, Wanamassa; Nicole Berglund 27:02, Asbury Park; Alyssa Mandara 27:19 Farmingdale; Todd Neil 27:36, Ocean Grove.
Complete results for the Trick or Trot are posted at www.jsrc.org.