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LI Running Club Holds ‘Trail’ Relay at Bethpage State Park

There’s an old saying that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade with them, and that’s what the Greater Long Island Running Club tried to do on February 21 at Bethpage State Park.

Late in the previous afternoon, race management staff reluctantly came to the conclusion that the usual trail course was simply unuseable, that the snow on the trails was still too deep to allow the runners to proceed on the trails for the Relay. With the trails inaccessible, the Club had no choice but to run the event as a “track style” relay in loops around the Parking Lot. Nobody liked settling for that, but there was no choice, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves with an event that was more than a little bit different. Ninety seven teams of three runners each successfully completed this year’s event.

Congratulations to the “Minora-T’s” team of Jose Sanchez, Corey Green & Jeff Perez, who scored with the top finish of the morning in a combined time of 21:40 over a course that unofficially totaled somewhere between 4.5 and 4.8 miles, edging out “Hedge’s Harriers” (Tom Clark, Andrew Coelho & Angel Ortega) by 11 seconds.

In the Women’s Open Division, “Team Awesome” (Danielle Matteo, Gina Cristaldi, and Heather Troutman) took top honors, with GLIRC’s Fast Feet (Jenn Lee, Stephanie Hoffman & Ellen Bernstein) second.

The Sayville running Company team of Brendan Barrett, Adam Siepiola and Katie DiPietro took top honors in the Mixed Open Division.

In the Masters ranks, GLIRC Racing Team stalwarts Michael Boisclair, Todd Rowley and Bill Gironda took top honors among the Men, the LIRRC team of Jill Skelly, Ellen Brach (welcome back Ellen) and Laura Gluf won the Women’s Division, and “Two Golden Eagles and One Dove” (Ken Bohman, Linda Bohman and Rich Ripke) scored tops in the Mixed Division.

Leading the way in the Senior Masters Divisions were the team of Don Murphy, John Daly and anchor Chris Daily running under the banner of the Bellmore Striders in the Men’s Division, the “Three Sisters” team of Andrea Backe, Eileen Hession and Christine Brakel repeating as winners in the Women’s Division, and GLIRC’s Bill Gironda (again!), Debbie Blair and Linda Ottaviano winning the Mixed Division.

A very special thank you to The Runner’s Edge and Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt for sponsoring this event once again this year. Bob Cook and Ray Farrell are two of the most generous folks in the running community, and we very much appreciate their continued support.

The biggest congratulations of all go to Relay Director Carl Grossbard and Logistics Director Fred von der Heydt and all our great volunteers for putting all the pieces together under less than ideal conditions…and thanks to all of the runners who were so understanding of the problems that were faced on race morning!