By Rob Potter
ROCK HILL Jason Kennedy and Jean Norton were the first man and woman, respectively, to cross the finish line last Saturday as the Sullivan Striders Running & Walking Club presented its ninth annual Falling Colors 8K Run and 5K Walk.
Kennedy, of Honesdale, Pa., completed the scenic 8K course, which started about 1/4 mile from the Emerald Green Clubhouse and ended about 50 yards from the building, in a time of 28 minutes, 37 seconds.
Norton, who lives in Wurtsboro, had a winning time of 32:31.
“It was a great race,” Norton said. “The weather was perfect.”
Indeed, all of the 192 runners and walkers seemed to enjoy the weather conditions, which were a little cool, but also partly sunny and dry.
“The Sullivan Striders did a great job with this race,” said Norton, whose 6-year-old son Luke sang the national anthem at the starting line.
The second lady to cross the finish line in the 8K run was Patricia Fassetta of Hurleyville.
Fassetta, who has been training with Norton the past few months, posted a time of 33:50.
“At the starting line, Jean reminded me to stay calm and confident,” Fassetta said.
At the awards ceremony, the participants enjoyed a meal, music, raffles and a chance to talk with each other about the sport they love. Instead of trophies, the top five male and female finishers in the 5K walk, the top three male and female finishers in the 8K run and the top finishers in the respective age groups of the 8K run received Colorado Blue Spruce trees courtesy of Manza Family Farm.
Sullivan Striders President Dennis Toscano thanked all of the participants, sponsors, volunteers and co-race directors Nancy Figueroa and Kim Klemen, who are also Sullivan Striders members.
Klemen and Figueroa thanked everyone as well. Klemen noted the race, which raises money used by the Sullivan Striders to award scholarships to recent graduates from Sullivan County high schools each summer, was more successful than the previous eight Falling Colors events in terms of earning money for those deserving young runners.
The 2009 seven scholarship winners, who received their awards at the Sullivan Striders monthly meeting back in July at Vino in Monticello, were Emma Cohen, James Dzurica, Jessica Fingers, Shannon Hornbeck, Greg Lewis, Colin Seidl and Jasmine Walizadeh.
Herb Waterman, one of the most well-known runners in the Hudson Valley, was the honorary starter of the race, which was the penultimate event in the Hudson Valley Grand Prix.
Complete race results can be found at www.fastfinishes.net.
The overall and age group winners were as follows:
1. Jean Norton, Wurtsboro, 32:31; 2. Patricia Fassetta, Hurleyville, 33:50; 3. Misty Verma, Hopewell Junction, 34:09
1. Jason Kennedy, Honesdale, Pa., 28:37; 2. Jim Phelan, Montgomery, 28:52; 3. Tim Billias, Yankee Lake, 29:07
Overall Female Walker
1. Kim Flynn, Wurtsboro, 28:50; 2. Dra Buesing, Wurtsboro, 39:51; 3. Tobi Magnetico, Wurtsboro, 39:51; 4. Andrea Ketchum, Painted Post, 39:56; 5. Julie Gray, New Rochelle, 40:47
Overall Male Walker
1. Bob Barrett, Smallwood, 38:53; 2. Ronald Buesing, Wurtsboro, 39:52; 3. Racy Webster, Warwick, 43:50; 4. Tom Zolonski, Middletown, 44:19; 5. John Kucera, Westbrookville, 52:13
1. Rebekah Phelan, Montgomery, 1:02.52
1. Hannah Phelan, Montgomery, 56:44
1. Ian Kurzrock, Woodbourne, 55:24
1. Jackson Krebs, Swan Lake, 39:01
1. Naomi Weise, Grahamsville, 36:42; 2. Debbo Spannegel, New Hampton, 37:54; 3. Sarah Phelan, Montgomery, 40:47
1. Scott Kaplan, Swan Lake, 33:42; 2. Matt Fortin, Livingston Manor, 35:20; 3. Matthew Arielly, Liberty, 36:41
1. Tammy Putt, New Paltz, 35:37; 2. Carli Obermeyer, Bloomingburg, 42:28; 3. Rachel Scali, Rock Hill, 44:38
1. Peter Devoe, Glen Spey, 33:31; 2. Douglas Kennedy, Honesdale, Pa. 34:45; 3. Nick DiMaria, Middletown, 42:24
1. Barbara Ferrante, Middletown, 35:39; 2. Nicole Jones, White Lake, 43:19; 3. Brooke Jonson, Dover, Del., 43:49
1. Tom Stratton, Liberty, 30:11; 2. Brian Grodin, Wurtsboro, 31:12; 3. Erick Sellstrom, Liberty, 31:26
1. Shona DeDansin-Queen, Blooming Grove, 36:46; 2. Erika Emigh, Wall- kill, 37:16; 3. Kim Klemen, Monticello, 39:30
1. Donald Thurston, Pine Bush, 30:30; 2. Kevin Adams, Walden, 31:51; 3. Franz Scholten, Greenville, 32:28
1. Deanna Bailey, Warwick, 37;11; 2. Susan Sheeley, Grahamsville, 40:12; 3. Fran Pantano, Walden, 42:16
1. Kenneth DeVries, Hopewell Junction, 30:53; 2. Frank Colella, Maybrook, 31:17; 3. Dave Getz, Warwick, 33:36
1. Benita Auge, New Windsor, 45:13; 2. Margaret Kowalski, Beach Lake, Pa., 55:29; 3. Kathleen Davies, Hillburn, 59:55
1. Carl Zuidema, Warwick, 36:02; 2. Dick Paterson, Milford, Pa., 36:40; 3. Kent “Army” Laudeman, West Point, 37:46
70 and Over Male
1. Phil Brennan, Milford, Pa. 47:28; 2. John Schultz, Wilmington, Del., 53:28.