pictured: Start of St, Paddy's 10 Mile Race. Photo: Bob Both, JSRC
FREEHOLD, NJ - Five hundred and 22 road racers (522) competed in the 24th annual St. Paddy’s 10 Mile Race (333 total) and 19th annual Leprechaun 5K (189 total) presented by the Freehold Area Running Club (FARC) at Michael J. Tighe Park, Freehold Township, on the cold and sunny, somewhat-windy morning of Sunday, March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day, and the “wearing of the green” was prevalent in most of the competitors’ running outfits.
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, 28, of Highlands at 51:54 (51 minutes and 54 seconds). This racing time was 43 seconds faster than Segal’s championsip time of this event last year. Coming in a distant second was Kyle Hall, 34, of Bronx, NY at 57:00 and third place went to Jeff Propert, 32, of Wall Township at 58:13 and this was eleven seconds faster than his third-place finish last year.
“I want to compliment the organizers; it was a well-planned race; there wasn’t a chance that any of us would take a wrong turn, the markers were easily seen and the course marshals knew their job,” said Segal when asked his thoughts on the event. “It’s definitely not flat,” he said of the course and the weather: “It’s cold and a bit windy but actually good for running.” The champion thinks that today’s time was his best for this race and is looking forward to competing again next year.
“This is my favorite running weather,” said runner-up Kyle Hall and explained: “I love seeing the snow and the cool temperature prevents dehydration.” He was very happy with his racing time because his PR (personal record) for a ten-mile race was 58:09, “now I can boast of having a 57:00 PR.” Hall belongs to the Bronx Van Cortlandt Track Club.
Jaclyn Janicky, 21, Brick Township, was the top female at 1:06:56 (17th place overall). Rounding out the top three of that distaff category were Morris Plains Michelle Quinlan, 30, at 1:08:00 (22nd overall) and Heather Jasontek, 34, also of Brick at 1:11:56 (35th overall)
“There are a lot of good hills out there and that makes for a nice challenge,” said Janicky in describing the course and is looking forward to doing this event again next year.
Coming in first of the Leprechaun 5K (3.1 miles), that used a shortened part of the main course, but included Eaglenest Road was Chris Poss, 23, of Manchester at 16:01. The female winner was Carolyn Rodgers, 49, of Toms River at 22:41 (20th place overall).
“I thought it was going to be a ‘pancake course,’ (his term for completely flat) but I soon saw and felt the hills so I was glad of the challenge,” said the 5K champion when asked to comment.
Highly decorated VietNam veteran with Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, Joe Renzella, 71, of Neptune City finished at 31:00 and said of the weather, “it was a bit chilly, but perfect for running.” He further added, “Im looking forward to running the Zinn races next weekend.” That would be: The 48th Annual Captain Ronald Zinn Memorial Races in honor of Olympian Ronald Zinn and the other men and women killed in Vietnam, presented at the Wall Township Complex on Sunday, March 24, at 9 (5K Run) and 10:30 a.m. (10K racewalk).
Fellow octogenarian (he, 82, me 83) Harry Papirman of Whiting finished at 31:12. “Hey, Jim, tell all your readers that they should come out and run this delightful race; they would have a good time,” and so I did.
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 portable loud speaker, thanked the 10-mile racers for coming and asked them to follow her in The Pledge of Allegiance. She then wished them well in the race with an Irish blessing: “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be at you back and may the clock put a smile on your face.” 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 Leprechauns and Green Place Finish Sweatshirts Ceramic Shamrockss 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.
"I'm very excited about the excellent turnout, 522 runners/racewalkers, and want to thank all the competitors for their support. It was a sunny, cold spring-like 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 Wendel, Marcia and Avram Shapiro, Pat, Erin & Sean Coyne and the staff at Tighe Park who coordinate opening and staffing the Park for us. 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. This was the 24th 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 30, 2014. Our website is https://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! She was elected into the Shore Athletic Club Hall of Fame this year for her accomplishments and dedication to the Running/Raacewalking Community for the past 25 years.
Other finishers of the 10-mile distance:
Atlantic Highlands Herald area: Brendan Kirchnew 59:01, Rumson; Daniel Chawner 1:06:26, Middletown; Turby Wright 1:11:40, Little Silver; Joseph Demeraski 1:12:16 and Thomas Schaefer 1:16:00, Keansburg; Chris French 1:19:53, Middletown; Bill Burke 1:28:17, Atl. Highlands; Pam Allen 1:29:59, Kim Pendolino 1:34:32 and Kerry Buckman 1:43:17, Red Bank; Eileen Puca 1:45:21, Leonardo; Robert Vanclef 1:46:13, Middletown.
Freehold leaders: Chip Heyser 1:00:48, Paul Gilly 1:11:45, Chrissy Weber 1:14:49, Gabby Barrett 1:18:07, Danielle Simon 1:19:07, Cara Trulli 1:22:10, Denise Zolnowski 1:22:44, John Drudy 1:24:30, Patrick Kerwin 1:24:56, Damian Velez 1:27:19, Joseph Fransese 1:28:01, Patricia Suhocki 1:28:36, Dan Gerber 1:28:49, Sue Howlatt 1:29:53, Kerriann Weinberger 1:30:32, Carl Denzinger 1:33:03, Sandra Etlinger 1:36:06, Christopher Naspo 1:37:13, Denise Corley 1:38:12, Doug Weber 1:40:01, Eric Kanla 1:45:32, Paul Shea 1:46:37, Valeria Miller 1:48:58, Robin Sebor 1:49:23, Dick Heuser 1:51:30.
Other Monmouth County leaders: Jonathan Rohl 59:49 and Chris Whitehead 1:05:11, Wall; Matt Nunnally 1:05:53, Avon; Patrick Applegate 1:08:01, Matawan; Michael Stominay 1:08:13, Farmingdale; Marc Fogarty 1:10:20, Hazlet; Scott Linnell 1:10:45, Colts Neck; Steve Prefontaint 1:11:54, Bradley Beach; Greg Young 1:13:32 Wall; Rosario Miano 1:14:41, Tinton Falls; Robin Campbell 1:16:05, Aberdeen; Laura Agresta 1:16:36, Colts Neck; Jayne Condon 1:17:09, Wall; Liz Spector 1:17:10, Manalapan; David Ilson 1:17:11, Shrewsbury; Joseph Polomene 1:17:30, Laurence Harbor; Tom Brieve 1:19:31, Manalapan; Keith Sadlowski 1:19:41, Howell; Mike Washakowski 1:19:42, Ocean; Frank Condon 1:20:05, Marlboro; Bob Peck 1:20:27, Howell.
Other finishers of the 5K distance:
Herald area: Melanie Lerner 24:38 and Blake Lerner 25:44, Rumson; Kelly Oldroyd 27:59, Little Silver; Shannon Schneider 32:54, Red Bank; Kristin Felton 36:18, Middletown; Kelly Martin 1:29:12 and Shannon Martin 1:29:13, Belford.
Freehold area leaders: Christian Magliaro 20:43, Matthew Cavallaro 20:57, Anthony Crivello 21:31, Arminda Way 24:45, Kyle Matthews 25:38, Michele Crivello 29:00, Denise Edgeworth 29:43, Frank Crivello 29:54, Ron Podel 30:14, Aimee Goodman 32:03, Elliot Goodman 32:04, Kevin Omalley 32:20, Steven Pfeffer 33:23, Noah Goldstein 33:40, Steve Goldstein 33:49, Marie Turino 34:51.
Other Monmouth County leaders: Will Spector 20:40, Manalapan; Stephen Harrett 21:55, Hazlet; Jarrett Lynn 22:35, Farmingdale; Rachel Kenny 23:20 and Charles Kenny 24:21, Matawan; Jeff Teeter 24:59, Asbury Park; Dillan King 25:29, Matawan; Ryan McLaughlin 25:34, Tinton Falls; Stephen Gordon 26:12, Holmdel; Frank Niedzielski 26:15, Colts Neck; Jeff Forgach 26:30, Ocean, Ron Ackerman 27:15, Howell; Steve Harrett 27:18, Hazlet; Jason Chakin 28:16 and Sherri Cagnina 28:27, Manalapan.