By Rob Potter
LIBERTY July 9, 2002 Usually at the end of a distance running event, the competitors talk about the course and how they feel after finishing the race.
The participants in last Thursdays Freedom Crusade 10K Run/5K Walk, which is sponsored by the Catskill Mountains Dianetics Center, were talking about the heat.
Under hot and humid conditions on our nations birthday, 55 runners and walkers attacked the Freedom Crusade course as it flowed through the streets of Liberty.
Its like running into a wall, said Heidi Everett-Powers, who won the womens 10K run with a time of 42:38, of the heat and humidity. It is just very, very hot.
But Everett-Powers dealt with the heat very well, winning the womens 10K division for the third straight year.
In addition to the high temperatures, the runners and walkers had to deal with the hills along the course. The participants started at the Liberty Elementary School (LES), traveled along several village streets, including Dwyer Street, Kaempfer Lane, Cold Spring Road and Sprague Avenue, and finished the event in the LES parking lot.
Word among some of the runners was that the course was tougher than the Monster Classic 10K and 5K, the popular race held each August in Monticello.
Wayne Beam of Middletown, who won the 10K run with a time of 35:10, noted that the race was really tough.
If I wasnt racing here, I would be doing a training run or running some hills, but this is a hilly course so it worked out well, Beam said. I dont think you can find a more hilly six miles than this. But the finish of the race is all downhill, which is nice.
Catskill Mountains Dianetics Center public executive secretary Verna Spina noted that the center receives a great deal of assistance in conducting the race. She especially noted the Cook, Goebel, Noecker and Hamlin families who provide water to the participants along the course and Sgt. Muir and the other members of the Village of Liberty Police Department who help map out the races route.
In addition, Spina noted, ShopRite donated water, oranges and watermelons for the event.
Cobblers, a Liberty restaurant, provided a gift certificate for the oldest participant in the race. And Steve Katz, a member of the Sullivan County chapter of the Wild Pigs Motorcycle Club, rode the course on his motorcycle to set the pace for the lead runners.
Each year we donated the proceeds from the race to a local community group, Spina said. We want to help groups and organizations that are doing something good in the community.
The proceeds from this years Freedom Crusade will go to the Liberty Chamber of Commerce. Spina noted that in past years the event has raised about $500 and she expected a similiar amount of money would be raised this year.
The top three finishers in each category received trophies for their efforts. Those winners were:
Mens 10K Run: 1. Wayne Beam, 35:10; 2. Karl Bressler, 38:15; 3. Calvin Waterton, 39:01.
Womens 10K Run: 1. Heidi Everett-Powers, 42:38; 2. Rachel Whitman, 49:22; 3. Kirsten Burko, 52:33.
Mens 5K Walk: 1. Eugene Cutler, 31:14; 2. Kenny Duffy, 41:15; 3. James Simon, 42:06.
Womens 5K Walk: 1. Pam Katz, 31:57; 2. Debbie LaBounty, 32:25; 3. Madeline Garcia, 35:42.