By Ted Waddell
ROCK HILL November 9, 2001 Last Saturday, the Sullivan Striders Running Club held its first annual Falling Colors 8K race and 5K walk to celebrate the spirit of friendly competition and the sounds and sights of a spectacular autumn in the Catskills.
The race was held at Emerald Green and Allen P. Sutcliffe of Fast Finishes provided the electronic timing and race results.
A cadre of local volunteers, including marathoner Harold Johnson who noted he was here to offer encouragement to the runners and Scott Sliter, who checked in the competitors as they crossed the finish line, helped the race run smoothly.
The members of Sullivan Striders held their first meeting in September 2000, and since then the club has grown to over 100 active members dedicated to running and fitness walking as a way of pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
It was a great day for a race, said Tom Manza, president of the new club.
The 46-year old has been running for four-and-half years.
Asked why he runs, Manza replied, I feel younger and more alive. There is a great feeling of accomplishment, a feeling of peacefulness when you get out there . . . and Ive made a lot of great friends. Its a win-win for me.
Manza finished the 8K run in third place with a time of 28:50.
Steve Holmbraker, former president of the Orange Runners Club, helped get the new club on its feet.
Theres a lot of new energy here, he said. They dont have a lot of experience yet, but they have a fresh, re-engergized way of looking at things.
Sullivan Striders executive vice president Myriam Loor served as race director for the first annual Falling Colors race/walk.
Were very pleased with the turnout, she said.
The club expected about 100 registrants. Nearly 200 runners and walkers signed up.
Raymond Revell, 28, of Campbell Hall, took top honors in the 8K with a time of 27:50.
Im in it for the health benefits, he said of why he started running about 17 years ago. Revell has crossed the finish line in first place several times since putting on a pair of runnings shoes.
The first woman to break the tape at the finish line was Jean Velasquez of Pine Bush with a time of 31:08 (she finished 8th overall). The 39- year-old mother of two (both runners) said she got into running about seven years ago because of a divorce.
I needed some kind of stress relief, so I joined the Orange Runners Club and then signed up with the Sullivan Striders, she said.
Two years ago, Velasquez tried out for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials. While she didnt make the cut, Velasquez said her goal is to try again in 2004.
I really like being physically and mentally fit, she added. The endorphin high is the best.
The Falling Colors 8K had a patriotic flavor as Sarah Hughes of the Bronx, who finished in 83rd place with a time of 43:49, took to the course in a red, white and blue pair of running shorts. Gary Cochrane of Cochecton, who finished 86th with a time of 44:59, crossed the finish line waving an American flag.
I run for the health of it, said Cochrane. It gives you something to look forward to.
The first annual Falling Colors race was his 15th competition of the year.
Also taking to the hills and dales around Emerald Lake were a couple of local cops.
If youre planning on fleeing a crime wearing a pair of felony sneakers, think again, as these guys would be hot on your heels. New York State Trooper Joe Barrett joined both running clubs after starting his personal running program last year.
Its a good way to stay in shape, make friends with people and see the same faces at the races, Barrett said.
Ron Lindholm is an officer with the Monticello Police Department, and has been running for a few years.
Youre only racing against yourself, he said. Its a good way to get motivated and gauge yourself.
Lindholm finished in 32nd place in 35:24, while Barrett completed the 8K course in 79th place with a time of 43:11.
The top 10 finishers were: 1. Revell; 2. Gary Bymes, Newburgh, 28:07; 3. Manza; 4. Bret Haydock of Montgomery, 28:55; 5. Frank Colella, Campbell Hall, 29:14, 6. Robert Jahrling, Wurtsboro, 29:44, 7. Jim Clancy, Walden, 30:36; 8. Velaquez; 9. Clint Foxwell, Rock Hill, 31:17; 10. Bistek Rivera, Monticello, 31:45.
The officers of the newly-minted Sullivan Striders are: President Tom Manza, Executive Vice-President Myriam Loor, Vice-President Andy McKean, Vice-President Tom Coleman, Secretary Maryann Drobysh and Treasurer Karen McKean.
For information about the Sullivan Striders, call Manza at 692-4364 (days) or 791-5237 (evenings) or Loor at 791-9235.
Falling Colors 8K Age Group Winners
Youngest: 1. Hailey VanKeurein, Thompsonville, 1:02:29.
9-13: 1. Caitlin VanKeurein, Thompsonville, 56:24; 2. Hailey Van Keurein, Thompsonville, 1:02:29.
19-27: 1. Claudia Waterton, Monticello, 42:36; 2. Tavi Bockman, Rock Hill; 3. Ishiuan Hargrove, Middletown, 57:21.
28-36: 1. Daria Petraglia, Goshen, 36:41; 2. Coleen Varley, Suffern, 40:16; 3. Kimberly Guerea, Monticello, 42:53.
37-45: 1. Colleen Hujus, Bloomingburg, 37:26; 2. Michelle Fields, Middletown, 40:13; 3. Karyn Haydock, Montgomery, 42:21.
46-54: 1. Kim Nonemacher, Monticello, 51:18; 2. Gladys Nieves, Rock Hill, 52:07; 3. Carmen Rivera, Middletown, 1:17:01.
55-63: 1. Eileen Sinkowitz, Middletown, 47:27; 2. Rita Hoffman, West New York, 49:15; 3. MJ Motl, Monticello, 1:06:44.
Walkers: 1. Mary Heinle, White Sulphur Springs, 37:06; 2. Shawna Steele, Bath, 37:09; 3. Alyssa Feliq, Wurtsboro, 37:45.
Youngest: 1. Connor Briggs, Rock Hill, 1:17:01.
8 and Under: 1. Connor Briggs, Rock Hill, 1:17:01.
9-13: 1. Jerry Greenlaw, Warwick, 34:45; 2. Matthew Gawars, Middletown, 36:30; 3. Ben McKean, Barryville, 40:17.
14-18: 1. Christopher Myers, New Hampton, 33:15.
19-27: 1. Adam Pegues, Warrenton, 32:24; 2. Justin Bockman, Rock Hill, 44:30; 3. Shannon Magnetico, Middletown, 47:10;
28-36: 1. Robert Jahrling, Wurtsboro, 29:44; 2. Andy McKean, Jeffersonville, 32:35; 3. Juan Mendoza, Middletown, 33:22.
37-45: 1. Bret Haydock, Montgomery 28:55; 2. Frank Colella, Campbell Hall, 29:14; 3. Clint Foxwell, Rock Hill 31:17.
46-54: 1. Jim Clancy, Walden, 30:36; 2. Keith Yeates, Middletown, 32:47; 3. Steven Booker, Holmdel, 34:59.
55-63: 1. Bistek Rivera, Monticello, 31:45; 2. Dennis Golladay, Weedsport, 36:09; 3. Gordon MacAdam, Monticello, 47:43.
64-72: 1. Herb Waterman, Middletown, 37:16; 2. Phil Brennan, Chester, 37:28; 3. John Schultz, Wilmington, 42:29.
Walkers: 1. Richard Goldstein, Westbrookville, 45:30; 2. James Finney, Westbrookville, 52:00; 3. Spencer Maxwell, Westbrookville, 55:33.