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Local Athletes Score Big in 50 and 25K Runs

With 400 registrants and 335 finishers, this year’s Merrell of Huntington Village Caumsett State Park 50 and 25 K Runs shattered all previous totals, as this event continues to grow and grow. The Run was held on the traditional 5K loop course once again this year, with 112 athletes successfully completing the 50K and 233 finishing the 25K.

Among the top finishers in the 50 K Run were Kim Solomine of Syosset, who was the 11th woman overall with a time of 4:36:28 and Patrick Riccardi of Plainview (4:48:47).  Among the top finishers in the 25K were Aaron Lewis of Jercho (1:57:14), Jessica Petrina of Plainview (2:00:38), Steven Girardi of Syosset (2:12:51)Keith Kleiman of Syosset (2:28:07), Guy Klarfeld of Plainview (2:42:54), and Larry Kurtzman of Plainview (3:01:57).

The 50K was once again the USATF National Road 50 Kilometer Championship. This year’s 50K winner was a newcomer to the distance, Joe Gray, 28, of Newcastle, Washington. Gray scored in 2:56:43, a minute and 41 seconds shy of Michael Wardian’s course record.

Wardian, a native of Arlington, Virginia, who ran to a second place 2:22 marathon finish the day before in Texas, came in second to Gray in 3:02:55. Wardian was the runner up at the 2011, IAU 100 Kilometer World Championships and named USATF’s Ted Corbitt Award winner for Ultra Runner of the Year, while Gray was last year’s USATF Mountain Runner of the Year. Rounding out the top three was Todd Braje of San Diego, California in 3:06:21.

On the women’s side of the 50K, 33-year-old Shanna Ailes Istnick, Kent, Ohio, ran consistent 5K laps to lead the field to a win in a time of 3:36:50, more than 10 minutes ahead of the 3:47:10 scored by Tracy Meder of Stow, Ohio. Annette Bednosky of Jefferson, North Carolina, a past member of the USA 100km and 24-hour National Teams, placed third in 3:48:45.

Highlighting the 50 K Masters race was a fourth-place finish by 60-year old Kathryn Martin of Northport, who scored in 4th place overall, and second Masters woman. She set several pending national records en route to a 3:58:37 finish time. Her splits at 20km, 25km, 30km and her finishing time are eligible for records.

In the 25K, Justin Fyffe of East Dummerston, Vermont took top honors in 1:24:10, and Laura Brown of Westhampton took first place overall among the women’s 25 K, scoring in an excellent 1:50:33.

The Runs were hosted by the Greater Long Island Running Club, with GLIRC’s Carl Grossbard and Nick Palazzo serving as the directors of the Run.

The 50K Run has been awarded the USA Track & Field 50 Kilometer Road championships for 2013, and GLIRC plans to bid for future years.