By Adam Kramer
A Queens resident and a Brooklynite were the winners of the Alley Pond Striders’ Annual Five Mile Challenge Road Race, which was run this year in memory of club members Max Popper and Bruno Fioretti, who died recently.
On a cool and rainy Sunday, 150 runners braved the inclement weather to compete in the annual race. After some brief remarks from the race director, John Rettmer, the Parks commissioner for Queens, Richard Murphy, wished all of the runners good luck and sounded the starting horn.
The men’s draw was won by Ricardo Bailey, 28, of Brooklyn, who led the race from start to finish, with a time of 27:06. Liz Murry, 38, of Elmhurst won the woman’s division crossing the finish line with a time of 34:59.
Coming in on the heals of Bailey were Tim Leinbach, who came in third last year, with a time of 27:25. He was followed by Jamie Palacios, who crossed the finish line at 28:01.
Last year’s winner, Susan Yang, finished half a minute behind Murry with a time of 36:24. Third place went to Julie Cook, who came in with a time of 36:30.
In the five age groups from 13 to 70, 141 of the 150 who started out in the soggy race completed the five miles.
“Despite the inclement weather, nine eager kids came out for the Children’s fun run,” said Nancy Meyer. “Eleven-year-old Rigena Wuest of Queens Village won the race for the girls and her twin brother Michael Wuest came in first on the boys’ side. All finishers were awarded medals and took home colorful T-shirts and gift bags filled with snacks.”
She said that after the race all of the runners were able to grab some refreshments, discuss their race tactics and how they plan to train for next year’s event to capture the crown.
Raffle prizes generously donated by some of the many race sponsors, Meyer said, were handed out during the race-ending festivities. The grand prize “A Day at the Races,” donated by the New York Racing Association was greatly appreciated by its lucky winner, she said.