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Frank Rizzo | Democrat

Behind Alex Gibbons of Massapequa Park (165), is Bill Schneider of Barryville.

There’s a reason they call it ‘The Monster’

By Frank Rizzo
MONTICELLO — August 3, 2010 — “Flatland” runners should consider themselves lucky: The “Monster” is not as “monstrous” as it used to be; the closing of the Concord Monster golf course meant they could avoid a truly backbreaking hill on the fabled links.
And yet, the “out-and-back” course routed by the longtime organizer, the Monticello Rotary Club, tested even the fittest on Sunday under favorable running weather – cool morning temperatures in the 60s.
The killer now is the Fraser Ave. hill which, on the way out, is a descent as runners pass Starr Rd. Coming back, however – less than half a mile from the finish line – it left even the lead runners gasping for breath and grunting and crying out with effort as they made the agonizing ascent.
“The hill on the way back, it’s mentally the hardest,” agreed 10K female winner April Ackermann of Cochecton.
Ackermann has upped her mileage lately, training for a marathon, and has been a veteran of the Monster 10K races.
“I know a lot of people here,” said Ackermann, 22, who joined her uncle, George, and mother, Donna, in the race. “Jean Norton [of Wurtsboro] usually beats me, but I think she’s been training for triathlons and her legs are tired.”
Ackermann was 10th overall with a 41:33.8. Norton, 47, placed 17th overall with a 43:54.9.
“I’m from Michigan – it’s flat, we don’t have hills,” noted 10K male winner (35:47.7) Charlie Richards of Bay City. He was one of 11 counselors from nearby Camp Kennybrook who participated.
“It’s all rolling hills,” Richards, a 1:50.4 800-meter runner at Saginaw College noted. And even where it’s “flat,” the course has slight inclines and declines, he added.
“It’s all rolling hills, you never get a chance to get a rhythm going,” said the first-time Monster participant who had never run a 10K before.
No one could be prouder of 5K female winner Ana Loor of Thompsonville than Monster veteran and twice-yearly marathoner Myriam, her mom.
“I used to run it with [Ana] when she was young – five years old,” said Myriam, who last ran the Monster two years ago. Coincidentally, Ana, then 15, won the female division in the 5K race that year.
“She’s very competitive,” Myriam said of her daughter. “She does running year-round.”
Ana, entering her senior year at Monticello HS, had no idea she was en route to her second Monster victory.
“When I was heading back, people were yelling it out [that I was the first female],” she said.
Michael Dioguardi of Massapequa, a counselor at Camp Onteora in Livingston Manor, took first in what past years has been dubbed the “Baby Monster.” He clocked 18:52.4.
“I just wanted to take it out into the lead and see how much I had left [at the end],” said Dioguardi, who as a high school senior this winter qualified for the New York State Track and Field championships in the 1,000 meters.
“The course really challenged me physically this year,” he said. “For me personally, it seemed harder than in past years.”
The race benefited RISE (Rape Intervention Services and Education) and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), two social services organizations aiding county residents.
Emcee Les Kristt introduced Race Director Orshii Boldis, now in his 10th year guiding the race. Boldis, who got an ovation, couldn’t help noting, “You [runners] did a ‘Monster’ of a job. I meet people all the time who tell me, ‘I ran the Monster.’ It’s an accomplishment.”
Friday: More photos/results.

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