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Rob Potter | Democrat

Steve Holmbraker, right, edged Bob Harjes by a split second to win the fourth annual Walk the Race 3K on Sunday in Bridgeville.

Competitors battle rain in the annual Walk the Race 3K

By Rob Potter
BRIDGEVILLE — August 27, 2010 — A total of 31 intrepid athletes, some of whom brought their canine companions with them, competed in the fourth annual Walk the Race 3K on Sunday morning near Holiday Mountain in Bridgeville.
Despite steady rain showers which left them soaked, the men, women and dogs walked 1.45 miles down Edwards Road, which offers a nice view of the Neversink River, turned around and walked back to the finish line.
While doing so, they had to adhere to the rule that one foot had to be in contact with the road at all times.
Race Director Myriam Loor was pleased to see so many people participating in the event considering the less than ideal weather conditions.
“With the rain, I didn’t think we would have more than five people in the race,” Loor said. “So things are going pretty well.”
Loor noted that 72 people competed in the Walk the Race 3K two years ago. Last year, about half that many people participated.
Loor started the race in 2007 as a way to give more recognition to race walkers. The event is sponsored by the Sullivan Striders Running & Walking Club and Loor and some of her fellow Sullivan Striders members organize the race each August.
“Some of the walkers would complain after walking in local 5K runs that they didn’t receive as much attention as the runners and their results weren’t printed in the newspaper,” she said. “So we started this race for them. I think this is the only race walk in the area.
“It’s a very inexpensive race,” Loor added. “For $8, you get a barbecue, a glass and awards.”
And Sunday’s race featured an exciting virtual photo finish as Steve Holmbraker of Middletown crossed the finish line just a split second ahead of Bob Harjes of Pine Bush. Holmbraker’s winning time was 17 minutes, 26 seconds.
“That’s roughly a pace of 8:55 per mile,” Holmbraker said.
“It was a heck of a race,” he continued. “Bob and I were neck and neck the whole time. He was right behind me and as we approached the finish line I was waiting for him to make a move. He did and got past me. But I was able to surge ahead of him at the very end.”
Holmbraker said that his days of race walking as a high school athlete in Maine helped him.
“It was 30 years ago, but the muscle memory kicked in and I found that stride,” he said.
“This is a nice course and the race was a lot of fun,” Holmbraker added.
The first woman to finish the race was Kim Flynn of Wurtsboro. She was also the third overall finisher with a time of 21.28.
Flynn walked the course with her puppy, a shih tzu/dachshund mix named “Ahote.” Flynn said that “Ahote” means “restless one” in the Hopi Indian language.
“It was a good race,” she said. “My time would have been better if I had been walking without Ahote. He slowed me down a little bit. But that’s OK because I am trying to get him used to walking in races with me.”
The results of the race were as follows:
1. Steve Holmbraker, 17.26
2. Bob Harjes, 17.26
3. Kim Flynn and her puppy, 21.28
4. John Flynn, 21.30
5. Linda DiPaolo and her two puppies, 22.00
6. Helen Rados, 23.23
7. James Goldfarb, 23.24
8. Mary Harjes, 23.39
9. Maryann Manza, 24.16
10.Tom Manza, 24.16
11.Peter Kowalczyk, 24.38
12.Syd Rogers, 24.39
13. Patti DiPleco, 25.54
14. Fawn DiPleco, 25.55
15. Ruth Shelley, 26.17
16. Carmen Rivera, 26.18
17. Peter Briggs, 26.28
18. Kim Klemen, 26.29
19. Dave Badolato, 26.59
20. Kelly Desmond, 28.00
21. Dawn DiMilta, 30.08
22. Gary Berson, 30.22
23. Anthony Kane, 30.33
24. Sheridan Counts, 33.37
25. Jaxen Counts, 33.37
26. Kelly Robertson, 33.39
27. Olivia Counts, 33.39
28. Connor Jennings, 34.35
29. Brett Jennings, 35.12
30. Marie Dusault, 35.13
31. Cheewahwaz (Shona Sneddon and her two puppies) 35.28.

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