By Nathan Mayberg
ROCK HILL March 8, 2005 A total of 200 runners dashed up and down 13.1 miles of roads and the many steep slopes of Rock Hill on Sunday morning at the second annual Celebrate Life Half Marathon.
Proceeds from the race will benefit Citizens Reunited Overcome Cancer (CROC) to specifically alleviate the needs of people afflicted with cancer.
Andy Latincsics, 38, was clearly the best runner in the event. He won the race by nearly three minutes. That was approximately the same difference between him and last years third place finisher. Latincsics finished second last year, by a little more than a minute.
His time of 1:15:41 was three minutes slower than last years winning time, and it was likely due to the freezing temperatures. Most of Sundays racers did not cross the finish line with much energy left in their proverbial tanks.
Latincsics, of Newton, NJ, described the course as nice and a little challenging.
There were a couple of tough hills, he said.
Latincsics added that it could have been worse.
He commended the events coordinators for doing a good job of organizing the race.
He said he started to build his lead after two miles. He continued to build on that lead, giving him a cushion for the stretch run, when he started to tire.
Latincsics, who ran in the 2004 New York City Marathon, said he runs an average of 10 miles a day. His next race will likely be in two weeks at the 5K Shamrock Scramble in Wallkill.
The top local finisher was Tom Manza of Rock Hill. He placed seventh overall with a time of 1:26:14. He moved up nine spots from his finish in last year event.
The 2004 Celebrate Life Half Marathon raised approximately $7,000, according to the races co-organizer Myriam Loor. She expected this years race to be as successful, thanks to the many local sponsors of the event.
Loor said the funds raised by the half marathon will go towards assisting patients in cancer treatment who need financial help. Those interested in receiving help or donating funds to CROC should visit the Web site celebratelifehalfmarathon.com.
She said she wants to help as many people as possible.
Fighting cancer is tough enough, Loor said. Having to worry about financial problems is an increased burden.
Top Three Finishers
1. Andy Latincsics, Newton, NJ, 1:15:41
2. Pete Heimgartner, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1:18:25
3. Chris Schulten of Glastonbury, Ct., 1:18:30
Top Local Finishers
7. Tom Manza, Rock Hill, 1:26:14
12. Suzanne Laburt, Greenwood Lake, 1:28:08
16. Michael Kresge, Rock Hill, 1:29:13
27. Franz Scholten, Grahamsville, 1:33:43
31. Erik Sellstrom, Liberty, 1:35:11
40. Scott Coddington, Wurtsboro, 1:36:58
48. Brendan Devine, Kauneonga Lake, 1:39:27
69. Pastor Ramos, Swan Lake, 1:43:05
90. Craig Schumacher, Callicoon, 1:47:51
93. Colleen Hujus, Bloomingburg, 1:48:00.