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Annual Vitale 5K race to be held Sept. 30

By The TimesLedger

The 21st annual Police Officer Gabriel Vitale 5K Memorial Run will be held Sunday morning Sept. 30, at 9:30 a.m. in College Point.

The start of the 3.1 mile race will be near 119th Street and Poppenhusen Avenue, next to McNeil Park. The course takes the runners through the College Point scenic residential neighborhood and the park itself. There will be splits at each mile.

Race Director Leo Nicholas and his staff expect a large turnout of running enthusiastic and is hoping to get some top name runners.

Nicholas hopes to once again get College Point native Tom Nohilly to compete in the event. Nohilly is back again at his specialty after taking nine months off following the Olympic Trials. A veteran at competing in the Vitale Run, Nohilly is coming off 16:35 in the Harry Murphy Memorial 5K race at Van Cortlandt Park two weeks ago.

Nohilly, who made headlines at Monsignor McClancy High School and then the University of Florida, where he blossomed into a world class steeplechaser, presently trains around College Point in McNeil Park and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

He said he doesn’t have any particular strategy for the upcoming race, that usually draws many residents out to cheer on the runners.

“I’ll try to run comfortably, relax and enjoy the race,” the 35 year old Nohilly said.

In addition to the 5K, there will be a half-mile race for the children 12 and under at 11 a.m.

The race is named for Police Officer Gabriel Vitale, who was killed in the line of duty while approaching a burglar in December 1980. He was assigned to the 109th Precinct in Flushing.

A perpetual memorial cup, donated by the Vitale family, will be presented to the first place police team representing the winning precinct. A team is comprised of three members from one precinct.

The first place overall finisher in both and female division will receive an award in the age group race. In addition, the first five finishers from eight age groups will receive awards.

Proceeds of the race will benefit the College Point Road Runners Club age group program.

For further information call 762-1519 or 424-2478.

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