Emerald Society Run A Big Success
Over 200 runners turned out for Saturday’s Emerald Society 5K run. Despite the initial rains and wind, the weather subsided as the runner’s approached the finish line. Race organizer Brendan Dolan described this year’s run as a "great day for Rockaway and a great day for runners at the Irish Circle."
Traditionally held the second Saturday after Labor Day, the Five K run benefits the Emerald Society’s Children’s Scholarship Fund. The run has been an annual event in Rockaway for the last eight years with the exception of 2001, when it was canceled due to the terrorist attacks.
With over three hundred registered for the race, turnout was surprisingly high given the difficult weather. Msgr. Martin Geraghty of St. Francis De Sales Parish, who doubles as chaplain for the Emerald Society, praised the "great courageous people in the tough conditions." Yorki Munoz of the College Point Road Runners and Track Club placed first in the men’s competition while Evelyn Perez was the women’s overall winner. While most of the runners were from Rockaway, almost all of the runners to place in Saturday’s race have an affiliation with the College Point club.
Beginning with a moving "Star Spangled Banner" by officer Carl Dixon and four bagpipers from the Emerald Society’s Pipe Band, the race started at Beach 102nd and Shore Front Parkway.
The course then turned left onto the Boardwalk on 108th Street and continued to 73rd Street where the runners faced difficult head winds. The homestretch took runners back onto Shore Front Parkway to 102nd Street to meet the finish line in front of the Irish Circle.
Several runners found the wind to be the toughest part of the race. Aaron Rosenzweig of the Dayton Towers said, "going down to 73rd Street and facing the winds was killer." Another runner said "tough wind, great race."Runner Scott Vogel of Forest Hills, who has won the forties age group twice, couldn’t believe the competition. "Half of the lead pack was in their forties, the young guys have nothing on us." He added, "guys in their forties rule."
Given the success and money raised for the scholarship fund, race organizer Brendan Dolan is grateful for the help of the people at the Irish Circle. "We’d like to extend our thanks to Mr. Parrish of the Irish Circle for his hospitality and generosity without whose help this race wouldn’t be held."