By Frank Rizzo
LIVINGSTON MANOR September 18, 2007 The memory of Jamie Bertholf continued to be honored as the second annual 5K Run/Walk in her name was held on September 8.
It began and ended at the Livingston Manor Central School where she would have been starting her senior year.
According to race director and senior class advisor Jaime Snow, more than 100 participants took part in the run/walk, while dozens of others enjoyed the rides and attractions (including a very popular dunking booth) set up on school property.
These participants, plus the help of more than two dozen sponsors, helped replenish the scholarship fund set up in her name after Jamie’s death in the June 2006 Flood.
The race itself was non-competitive in more ways than one.
Defending champ and LMCS junior Greg Lewis, a state cross country meet participant last fall, essentially ran by himself as he finished first by nearly six minutes in a time of 19:05.
And that was the time he himself kept; there were no clocks, no fancy finishing systems, no medals or trophies. Whatever the participants’ motivation, the point was to benefit the worthy cause.
“It was a fun course,” Lewis said. “There were flat areas, some downhills and some uphills.”
“I usually do better with someone in front of me,” Lewis noted. “I wanted to get a better time than I did today.”
Though he did not know Jamie very well, Lewis said he was moved to participate by the desire to help out the Bertholf family’s scholarship fund.
According to Snow, who was aided by fellow class advisor Melanie Hyzer and a slew of volunteers, the course was certified by Rock Hill’s Brian Cavanagh, a former cross country coach.
Eileen Wohltjen (neé Bertholf), a cousin of Jamie’s, finished first among females with a time of about 29 minutes.
“I was happy to beat my sisters… it’s a family thing,” Eileen laughed.
Her sisters who participated in the race were Beverly Garzon of Parksville, Shirley Kinne of Liberty, Vicki Kurzrock of Woodbourne and Lynn Priebe of Liberty.
Among those Wohltjen “showed her heels” to was Marty Handler, the Sullivan County BOCES Superintendent and road race regular.
“I could see you for a while!” Handler smiled and told Eileen after expressing dissatisfaction with his time of about 34 minutes.
The hot, muggy morning might have had something to do with the subpar clockings.
But on this day, competition took a back seat to participation.