2005-08-12 / Sports

Graybeard Run Brings All Ages Together

By Keith

Beautiful blue skies and a break in the heat and humidity set the stage for a memorable evening on July 29 at the Third Annual Graybeards Family Run. Over 400 runners participated in the various races. Hundreds more supported their efforts and joined the post race activities at St. Francis de Sales schoolyard. Rockaway’s future generation of distance runners led off with races of varying length along Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

Proud moms and dads cheered on while trying to figure how long it will be before their children will be passing them in the 5K. The Special Olympians showed the strong competitive spirit that drives them, in an exciting dash along the boulevard. The Mile Race followed along a new course that began at RBB and 128, heading onto the boardwalk at 126, on to 121 before returning. John Cosgrove took the Male title while Frances Amodeo was first female. A strong contingent of 150 runners took off along the same course but headed to B 102 for the 5K.

A new champion was crowned again with Jim McKeon clocking 18:02, one second better than last year’s champion, James Hayden. Jim McVeigh and Robert Cole reprised their 2nd and 3 rd place finishes from 2004. Carol Farrell took a minute off her 2004 time and needed it, to once again outpace Siobhan Keenan for the Female crown. Kathy Sosnowski took 3rd place. The work of coaches John Edwards, Paul Richter, and Steve Gifford obviously is paying dividends as the 12 and under boys claimed 5 of the first 15 spots and 10 runners under 25:00, led by Danny Donohue in 20:49.

Age group winners:

Male12&U-Daniel Donahue, 13-15-John Weber, 16-19-Kevin Quinn, 20-29-Jim McKeon, 30-39-Jonathan Walters, 40-49-Jim McVeigh, 50-59-Pat Savage, 60-69-Frank Criscitiello and 70+-Bert Robbins.

Female 12&UMary Ellen Woods, 13-15-Sarah Donohue, 16-19-Ellenoira Featherston, 20-29-Kelly Bryan, 30-40-Siobhan Keenan, 40-49-Carol Farrell, 50-59-Joan Porcella and 60-69-Rose Gurry. The new course was convenient for runners and spectators alike as all moved quickly into the St. Francis Schoolyard and began dancing to the music of Dead Mile Dance, who wowed the crowd before continuing on to an engagement at The Irish Circle. Jack Weber did an outstanding job leading the Grill Crew feeding everyone to their contentment. Ed Cashen, Ronald Whelan and Rocky Dorogoff came through for shopping and setup. Bill Egan was invaluable in connecting and overseeing the beverage station. Kathy Clarke led and logged a Herculean registration effort before running 5K as well.

Thanks to Allison Bagley, Walter Roberts and the Flying Pastinas as well. Siobhan Keenan was outstanding again in gathering the race results for the awards ceremonies. Marybeth Goldberg led the Raffle Squad for a successful 50/50. P.O. Peter Griffith commanded a full contingent from the NYPD in traffic control.

Special thanks to our sponsors, and our hosts, St. Francis de Sales, my race director Joe Featherston, our faithful Graybeards secretary, Mary Ellen Olsen for tasks too various to mention, my fellow Graybeards, and all others who stepped up including the RIBS. Most of all thank you to all our runners and supporters. The 4th Annual Graybeards Family Run will be Friday July 28, 2006. Mark your calendars now and remember to register early! Children who registered but did not receive a shirt can pick it up at the St. Francis Summer Classic on Tuesday August 16.

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