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DESPITE A RECENT groin injury, Brendan Devine of Bethel was the first racer to cross the finish line. He won the Smallwood/Mongaup Valley Fire Department 5K run with a time of 16 minutes and 50 seconds.

Running in Memory
Of 'Big' Bob Bonnaci

By Andy Simek
SMALLWOOD — July 4, 2006 – The Smallwood/Mongaup Valley Fire Department held its annual 5K run/walk this past Sunday.
This event is held every year to raise funds to cover the operating costs of the fire house.
This year the race was held in honor of “Big” Bob Bonnaci, a volunteer firefighter of 20 years who passed away last June after a heart attack.
Bonnaci’s wife, Pat, said “he was very dedicated to his fire company and his town.”
She said holding the race in his name was an honor which she is very proud of.
Matt Burns, director of the race, said that the event is a big help to the fire department, and is also helpful in getting the community out to their open-house, an event held directly after the race.
This year’s winner was Brendan Devine, who finished with a time of 16 minutes and 50 seconds.
Devine, who lives in Bethel, is recovering from a strained groin muscle, but still managed to stay ahead of the pack.
The injury, which prevented him from winning a race in the scholastic state qualifiers just two weeks ago, didn’t hinder him on Sunday.
When asked, Devine, who is a member of the Monticello High School track and field team, said he “felt great.”
Coming in second and third, respectively, were Tom Manza, with a time of 18:56 and Steve Keller, finishing with a time of 19:28.
The first place winner in the women’s division was Rebecca Masten, who finished in 20:14.
Masten, who lives in Ontario, Canada, said “the race was a little bit hillier than I’m used to, but I’m feeling great now.”
The 5K event attracted 135 racers and raised approximately $2,500, which will be utilized in maintaining the Smallwood/Mongaup Valley Fire Department.

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