Hundreds of runners tackle 35th annual newark distance classic 5K and 20K RUN
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Hundreds of runners tackle 35th annual newark distance classic 5K and 20K RUN

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March 22, 2010, 8:34 pm
Newark
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Runners from as far away as Ethiopia and as close as the North Ward thunder down Raymond Boulevard in first race of 2010 distance running season
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Newark, NJ - March 22, 2010 - Mayor Cory A. Booker and Director of Neighborhood and Recreational Services Melvin L. Waldrop announced that more than 300 runners from as far away as Ethiopia and as close as the North Ward tackled Newark’s streets in the 35th Annual Distance Classic on Sunday, March 21, 2010, in the first race of the 2010 distance running season.

Cash awards were given out for the top three male and female 20K overall finishers, as well as the top three USA Track Federation for New Jersey-certified male and female finishers, and the top three Masters USATF-New Jersey male and female finishers. First place-winners will receive $2,500, Second place gets $1,500, while third-place earns $1,000.

“The Newark Distance Classic attracts athletes from throughout New Jersey around the world who choose the streets and hills of Newark to test their strength, dedication, and commitment,” Mayor Booker said. “I want to thank all of the volunteers who helped our city host this race for the 35th year in a row and we look forward to welcoming more and more runners from across the globe to our beautiful and historic City.”

The race is among the first of the nation’s distance running season, and is considered a warm-up for events like the Boston Marathon and other major marathons. The Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation, founded by the four-time Olympian and New Jersey native, joined to co-sponsor the race for the first time. The Foundation has partnered with the City to support other youth fitness and sports programs. Mrs. Clark Diggs is one of the great Olympic 800-meter runners.

“My brother J.J. and I both won the Distance Classic years ago, running the 5K event,” said Mrs. Clark Diggs, “It’s exciting to be involved with the race. It was a perfect day for running.” After Mrs. Clark Diggs fired an air horn to start the race, hundreds of runners poured down Raymond Boulevard.

Miriam Santiago, the race’s coordinator, has organized the event every year for the past 20 years. “We had perfect weather and support for this year’s race,” she said. “This year we had more sponsors and partners, including the Mighty Milers, Horizon’s health screening, and the Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation, and we are looking to add more for next year.”

“The Newark Distance Classic has been a signature athletic event for the City of Newark for 35 years,” Director Waldrop said, after joining participants to walk the 5K route. “I am proud of how our residents turn out to participate, to support the runners, or to serve as volunteers, showing our City’s great hospitality and warmth. We want to continue to grow and strengthen this event so that it becomes one of the major running events in the nation. It is a great opportunity to showcase our City.” The Department of Neighborhood and Recreational Services’ Division of Recreation/Cultural Affairs organizes the annual race.

Recreation Manager Zaid Braswell set an example by tackling the 20K, doing so in 2:01:32. “We had a very successful run this year, and we intend to establish a city-wide running club to compete next year, to bring home medals, and to challenge our municipal colleagues to step up to the challenge,” he said.

Ethiopian native Alene Reta, a Bronx-based distance runner with 10 years of races under his belt, took the 20K run in 1:02:19:85, his first time on the Newark course. “It was a great route and a fine course. The fan support was good,” he said.

Clifton resident Jenifer Martin tackled the 20K route with running friends, and finished first in her age category, Females aged 30-39, with a brisk 1:18:51:85 pace. “It’s the third time I’ve run this race. It’s a challenging route without being overbearing,” she said. “It has nice hills, and the set up here is great.”

One of Ms. Martin’s friends, Hoboken resident Maria Pavkovitch, was taking the course for the first time. She finished second in the Females aged 20-29, at 1:22:29:80. “I will definitely be back,” she said. “The toughest part was running the hills in Branch Brook Park.”

While runners came from all over the region to test the course, some racers and winners didn’t have far to travel. Terry O’Riley, a 61-year-old West Ward resident, who won her age group in the 5K run, Females aged 60-69, with a time of 30:29:15. A regular Distance Classic runner, Ms. O’Riley started running at age 40, and has competed in and won distance runs and marathons in her age group in Newark, Atlantic City, Canada, Jamaica, and England.

“I train every other day by running from my home to Lincoln Park and back. I work with my trainer, John Martin, who is a retired Verona Police Officer,” Ms. O’Riley said. “I was a dancer, and I wanted to keep that dancer’s figure, and John said, ‘You have got to run,’ so I started running, found I loved it, and have done it ever since.” During her career, Ms. O’Riley was a backup dancer for major musical performers, including R&B legend James Brown.

“I was fully prepared today, and I had it fairly easy,” she said of her latest run. She is now preparing for the Essex County Cherry Blossom Run, set for April 11.

Ms. O’Riley was followed in her age class by Wayne resident Jane Simpson, a 68-year-old who took the 5K route in 37:53:55. “I started running at the age of 58, when my son was a high school distance runner. When I tried a 5K run, I didn’t finish last, so I kept it up, and added Pentathlon and Steeplechasing.” Today she is the national champion in Steeplechasing (a form of obstacle course running) in her age group, and runs the Newark Distance Classic regularly.

Another Newark runner was 48-year-old David L. Shaw, a South Ward resident who did the 20K route in 1:28:08:35, finishing 16th in the Masters (40 and up) group, the eighth time he has run the course. “It was a good time for me,” he said. “I did the race in 1:35 last year and 1:21 the year before that. I love the route, and it was a beautiful day, just cool enough.” He runs nine to 14 miles every other day, and eats a vegan diet. “Running is a wonderful thing to do. I love to run,” he said.

The race also saw a first: Maplewood resident Kathy Johns took third place in the 5K, for Females aged 40-49, with a time of 31:40:70, but what made her feat unusual was that she was pushing a baby in a stroller the whole time, and the 15-month-old boy who slept through the race…wasn’t hers. Zachary Bye’s parents, John and Christine Bye, of South Orange, are a married pair of tri-athletes, who were tackling the 20K route.

“They’re friends of mine and tri-athletes who push themselves hard, but they also want to spend time with their son, so I agreed to take Zachary on the 5K run while they do the 20K,” Ms. Johns said. “For me, it was the best workout ever, great for my arms.”

After Ms. Johns finished, she stood by the finish line on Raymond Boulevard at University Avenue, holding young Zachary, as they waited for his mother and father. Mrs. Bye finished first, doing the route in 1:36:34:60, putting her in sixth place in Females, 30 to 39. Her husband John came in a minute later, at 1:37:18:95, putting him in seventh place for Males, 40 to 49.

“We’ve been racing as a family since Zachary was born,” Mr. Bye said. “This is his ninth time in the stroller during the race.”

The Bye couple has run the Distance Classic before, but this was the first time that Zachary took part. “The course was great, and the level of volunteer support and organization is a great testament to the City of Newark. I want to thank the Mayor for putting this on every year,” Mr. Bye said.

Race award categories were as follows: 20K Age Division Awards: 19 and under; 20-29; 30-39; and all Masters’ five-year age divisions. 5K Awards: Top three Male and Female Overall; Top three in the following Age Divisions for the 5K: 14-under; 15-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69; 70-79; 80 and over. In the 20K run, Age Division were as follows: 19-under; 20-29; 30-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69; 70-74; 75-79; and 80 and up. All runners received shirts and backpacks as souvenirs of the race.

In addition, representatives of Horizon NJ gave free health screenings before and after the run, and representatives of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure were on hand to provide registration information about the upcoming Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run/Walk, which is set for Branch Brook Park on Sunday, April 25. The run will raise awareness of and funds for breast cancer research. The drive consists of a five-mile walk-run, with participants registering in advance and raising pledges from friends and family for each mile walked.

The race was certified by the USA Track Federation for New Jersey, and was sponsored by the City of Newark, Newark Now, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the United States Trck & Field Federation, Sneaker Factory, Vulcan Pioneers, Newark Bronze Shields, Police Athletic League, the Amateur Radio Society, the Newark Explorers, and TD Bank.

The race was preceded by the Mighty Milers Run, which is a program made up of youngsters aged 6-15 from all six Newark Recreation Centers. The Mighty Milers competed in a co-ed race over a one-mile route. More than a dozen children joined in the race as a celebration of their participation in Mighty Milers, a New York Road Runners Foundation Program that strives to make running a part of every child’s school day. Winners in various age categories and the overall winning runner and recreation center received awards presented by Nick Juravich from the Mighty Miler Corporate office.

The fastest Mighty Miler was 13-year-old Rashon Jones, who took the mile in 5:07. In his second year of running, the McKinley School student does his running at the Rotunda Center on Clifton Avenue. “Being involved in this run was a good experience,” he said. “I run a lot at basketball practice, but I may get into competitive running in future.”

The health and well-being of Newark’s residents is a priority for the Booker Administration. At his Fourth Annual State of the City Address on February 9, 2010, the Mayor announced that he will serve as National Co-Chair of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to fight childhood obesity.

Under the Booker administration, each of the City’s recreation centers has had a comprehensive rehabilitation. Every City Recreation facility and pool has been successfully upgraded through public private partnership funding and is now open for expanded programs and community use. In addition, City programming at recreation centers has been thoroughly enriched. Residents can now access a full catalogue of recreation and cultural programs and services.

For information about all City of Newark programs or policies, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.

-NEWARK-

Contact:        Newark Press Information Office  - (973) 733-8004
                E-mail: pressoffice@ci.newark.nj.us

About the City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in the United States and the largest in New Jersey, with a population of more than 280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation’s largest transportation super-structures including an international airport, major rail connections, major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.

With a new Administration as of July 2006, Newark continues to see signs of a strong revival.  In population, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the northeast. Its six major colleges and universities are further expanding their presence. The production of affordable housing has doubled, businesses are returning and crime is going down. There is still much work to be done but Newark is on its way to achieving its mission:  to set a national standard for urban transformation.

About Joetta Clark Diggs

Joetta Clark Diggs is a four-time Track & Field Olympian who has competed in the sport for more than 25 years. A native of New Jersey, she is considered by track enthusiasts as the most prolific 800-meter runner of all time. She made Olympic history, coupled with her sister and sister-in-law, when they made the 2000 Olympic team in the same event, 800 meters. The ladies were known as “Team Clark” and were coached by “J.J.” Clark, Joetta’s brother, who is also the Director of Track & Field at the University of Tennessee.

Mrs. Clark Diggs is the President, of Joetta Sports & Beyond, LLC and the Executive Director of the Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation, Inc., and is also one of America’s most sought-after motivational/ team enhancement speakers. Joetta’s Foundation promotes involvement in physical activities for girls and boys grades K-12. Ms. Clark Diggs was also the host and producer of a cable fitness show for kids called Fitkidz, NJ.  She is a graduate from the University of Tennessee, and the daughter of Jetta and Dr. Joe L. Clark the subject of the movie, “Lean on Me.” Joetta is married to Ronald Diggs and they have one child.

About the Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation

The Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation (JCDSF) was founded by New Jersey’s four-time Olympian and author Joetta Clark Diggs.  The JCDSF promotes involvement in physical activities for girls & boys ages K-12.  The Foundation is committed to teaching good health and positive work ethics associated with participation in sports and introducing the different opportunities for girls & boys in the sports and entertainment industry. Joetta Clark Diggs is Executive Director of the JCDSF and after 25 years of competition, Joetta has worked with a variety of athletes, students, corporate professional and community leaders bringing about hope and solutions for our youth.  Now retired, Joetta’s ambition, determination and commitment are just a few qualities that have empowered others to achieve their destiny.

For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website at www.ci.newark.nj.us

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cityofnewarknj

35th Annual Newark Distance Classic Results

March 21, 2010

5 K RUN RESULTS

Name            Home Town               Age             Time

Top Male Open Finishers

Michael Martins Newark                  15              17:46:80
Alex Alvarado           Belleville, N.J.                        27              18:25:45
Emmanuel Brody  Roselle, N.J.                   57              18:54:90

Top Female Open Finishers

Elva Sibrian            Union City, N.J.                39              20:57:55
Liliana Tavares         Newark                  10              22:02:65
Maria Cirne             Lyndhurst, N.J.                 39              22:38:50

Top Male Masters Finishers

Emmanuel Brody  Roselle, N.J.                   57              18:54:90
Charlie Slaughter       Parsippany, N.J.                54              19:48:95
Mario Sipja             Newark                  46              22:11:40

Top Female Masters Finishers

Lorraine McPhillips     Basking Ridge, N.J.             55              23:20:30
Blanca Alvarez          Harrison, N.J.                  56              27:23:25
Toni Colotta            Rutherford, N.J.                50              29:32:30

Male 14 and Under

Joshua Martins          Newark                  13              21:11:90
Ricardo Tavares Newark                  14              24:14:65

Female 14 and Under

Liliana Tavares         Newark                  10              22:02:65
Ines Ferreira           Newark                  11              24:58:10
Yessika Yangua  Newark                  8               27:35:10

 

Male 15 to 19

Michael Martins Newark                  15              17:46:80
Nasir Wright            Newark                  16              19:45:55
Cody Ursin              Succasunna, N.J.                15              24:46:85

Female 15 to 19

No Finishers

Male 20 to 29

Alex Alvarado           Belleville, N.J.                        27              18:25:45
Edward Lapierre Maplewood, N.J.         28              20:13:85
Gary Barella            Newark                  26              33:47:50

Female 20 to 29

Christine Piccoli       Bloomfield, N.J.                29              23:14:45
Laura Palmerezzi        Maplewood, N.J.         29              25:36:15
Jennifer Gilbert                New York, N.Y.          27              26:37:35

Male 30 to 39

Hector Mantari          Belleville, N.J.                        35              20:23:80
Roosevelt Lucas Montclair, N.J.                 37              21:19:20
Steven Fulop            Jersey City, N.J.               33              21:58:55

Female 30 to 39

Elva Sibrian            Union City, N.J.                39              20:57:55
Maria Cirne             Lyndhurst, N.J.                 39              22:38:50
Elaine Acosta           Randolph, N.J.                  35              23:30:75

Male 40 to 49

Mario Sipja             Newark                  46              22:11:40
George Carlson  Clifton, N.J.                   49              22:18:45
John Theiroff           Jersey City, N.J.               44              23:10:65

Female 40 to 49

Laura San Luis          Bayonne, N.J.                   41              29:37:95
Christine Williams      Union, N.J.                     41              29:42:60
Kathy Johns             Maplewood, N.J.         40              31:40:70

Male 50 to 59

Emmanuel Brody  Roselle, N.J.                   57              18:54:90
Charlie Slaughter       Parsippany, N.J.                54              19:48:95
Alfredo Vargas          Newark                  50              24:11:25

Female 50 to 59

Lorraine McPhillips     Basking Ridge, N.J.             55              23:20:30
Blanca Alvarez          Harrison, N.J.                  56              27:23:25
Toni Colotta            Rutherford, N.J.                50              29:32:30

Male 60 to 69

Joseph Cozzi            West Caldwell, N.J.             67              26:35:90
Marty Slutzky           Edison, N.J.                    64              28:34:70
Martin Hochbaum Montclair, N.J.                 68              30:02:10

Female 60 to 69

Terry O’Riley           Newark                  61              30:29:15
Jane Simpson            Wayne, N.J.                     68              37:53:55

Male 70 to 79

Michael Lea             Newark                  70              27:45:50
Arch Seamans            Rockaway, N.J.          77              34:18:00

Female 70 to 79

No Finishers

Male 80 and over

Bill Welsh              Staten Island, N.Y.             80              44:57:35
Bill O’Brien            Avenel, N.J.                    83              56:59:05

Female 80 and over

No finishers

20 K RUN RESULTS

Name            Home Town               Age             Time

Top Male Open Finishers

Alene Retz              Ethiopia                        28              1:02:19:85
Philip Kibiw Kandie     Ethiopia                        29              1:02:23:55
Christopher Pannone     Lambertville, N.J.              23              1:02:39:85

Top Female Open Finishers

Mulive Gurmu            The Bronx, N.Y.         26              1:18:08:05
Sheila Casey            Park Ridge, N.J.                40              1:18:12:45
Jenifer Martin          Clifton, N.J.                   38              1:18:51:85

Top Male Masters Open Finishers

Thomas Yakowenko        Metuchen, N.J.                  41              1:10:10:20
Paul Willis             The Bronx, N.Y.         40              1:14:40:20
Rodrigo Caceres Elizabeth, N.J.                 49              1:15:06:15

Top Female Masters Open Finishers

Sheila Casey            Park Ridge, N.J.                40              1:18:12:45
Jeanne Pare             Chester, N.J.                   41              1:19:48:00
Beth Moras              Ridgewood, N.J.         51              1:27:45:85

Male 19 and Under

No Finishers

Female 19 and Under

Jaclyn Lazarus          Fanwood, N.J.                   19              2:07:42:45

Male 20 to 29

Alene Retz              Ethiopia                        28              1:02:19:85
Philip Kibiw Kandie     Ethiopia                        29              1:02:23:55
Christopher Pannone     Lambertville, N.J.              23              1:02:39:85

Female 20 to 29

Mulive Gurmu            The Bronx, N.Y.         26              1:18:08:05
Maria Pavkovitch        Hoboken, N.J.                   26              1:22:29:80
Emily Gallagher         Madison, N.J.                   22              1:35:20:40

Male 30 to 39

Mohammed Ibrahim        The Bronx, N.Y.         32              1:03:35:00
John Gathoga            East Orange, N.J.               30              1:08:38:55
Michael Oliva           Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.  30              1:16:47:10

Female 30 to 39

Jenifer Martin          Clifton, N.J.                   38              1:18:51:85
Isabella Nyamwange      Jersey City, N.J.               31              1:19:13:30
Catherine Smith Wayne, N.J.                     37              1:21:15:15

Male 40 to 44

Thomas Yakowenko        Metuchen, N.J.                  41              1:10:10:20
Paul Willis             The Bronx, N.Y.         40              1:14:40:20
Armando Ruiz            Elizabeth, N.J.                 44              1:26:15:00

Female 40 to 44

Sheila Casey            Park Ridge, N.J.                40              1:18:12:45
Jeanne Pare             Chester, N.J.                   41              1:19:48:00
Lauren Kolesa           Randolph, N.J.                  42              1:33:21:60

Male 45 to 49

Rodrigo Caceres Elizabeth, N.J.                 49              1:15:06:15
Paul Giuliano           Bloomfield, N.J.                46              1:15:23:65
Mark Lorello            Budd Lake, N.J.         48              1:15:53:10

Female 45 to 49

Suzanne Ceravolo        Wayne, N.J.                     46              1:33:35:25
Geraldine Scerra        Succasunna, N.J.                46              1:39:46:75
Susan Mello             Essex Fells, N.J.               46              1:40:09:50

Male 50 to 54

Beau Atwater            Bernardsville, N.J.             52              1:20:23:50
David Trager            Maplewood, N.J.         50              1:21:58:05
Desmond Duncker Glen Ridge, N.J.                52              1:29:06:35

Female 50 to 54

Beth Moras              Ridgewood, N.J.         51              1:27:45:85
Bonnie Triolo           Nutley, N.J.                    54              1:40:09:30
Eva Fisher              Boonton, N.J.                   50              1:41:02:65

Male 55 to 59

Alex Huarez             Passaic, N.J.                   57              1:32:08:30
Lou Grunfelder          Florham Park, N.J.              56              1:37:57:90
Bob Brennan             Jersey City, N.J.               56              1:38:27:65

Female 55 to 59

Norma Millet            Clifton, N.J.                   56              1:56:49:75

Male 60 to 64

Roger Price             Randolph, N.J.                  61              1:24:15:95
J.L. Seymore            North Brunswick, N.J.           64              1:27:11:40
Jose Artur Vallejo      Clifton, N.J.                   62              1:30:50:65

Female 60 to 64

Peggy Richko            Hewitt, N.J.                    61              1:47:17:65
Cande Olsen             Chatham, N.J.                   60              1:50:24:75

Male 65 to 69

Tom Kelly               West Orange, N.J.               68              1:43:38:15
Lawrence Diggs  Plainfield, N.J.                        68              1:45:54:40
William Ash             Hewitt, N.J.                    67              1:48:19:90

Female 65 to 69

Anna Thornhill          New York, N.Y.          69              1:51:31:40

Male 70 to 74

No Finishers

Female 70 to 74

Imme Dyson              Princeton, N.J.                 73              1:57:28:05

Male 75 to 79

Joseph Labruno  Bayonne, N.J.                   78              2:10:46:35

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Hundreds of runners tackle 35th annual newark distance classic 5K and 20K RUN
Hundreds of runners tackle 35th annual newark distance classic 5K and 20K RUN
Source: Joao Vianna
Monday 22 March 2010