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What a Fun Run

 The 19th edition of the Graybeards Family Run once again provided one of the highlights of summer in Rockaway, producing a fabulous night with over 400 runners participating. Spectators more than doubled race attendance, cheering the runners of all ages, and then convening in the Fr. Grogan Memorial Schoolyard at St. Francis de Sales, to celebrate with food and beverages, music from DJ Poppa D, games and children’s rides, raffles and awards.

The children’s races kicked things off at 6:30 p.m. with waves of runners pouring down Rockaway Beach Blvd to receive their ribbons after completing their trek. Rockaway’s Special Athletes followed, drawing a tremendous response from the crowd. The 1 Mile set off at 7 p.m. and Richie Aiken defended his title in 5:55. Jack O’Grady, Tommy Aiken, Timmy Nichtern, and David Graves completed the top 5 males. Maddie Youngberg was the female champion in 6:35, followed by Ashlee Ferriola, Logan Leahy, Lauren Hayden, and Madeline Jamin. This year’s 5k race again featured segments along the Boardwalk, Rockaway Beach Blvd., and Neponsit Avenue. Patrick Goldberg also defended his championship, winning in 17:06. John Stravalle and Tom Patchett were next behind Goldberg. Elle Riches is the champion on the female side, taking the plaque in 20:41. Morgan Harkins was second, and Mary Edwards third.

Age Group winners were as follows:

12 and under- Male-Nicholas Donovan, Female-Niamh Mullen

13-15 Male-Richie Aiken, Female-Elle Riches

16-20-Male-John Stravalle, Female-Annie Price

21-29-Male-Patrick Goldberg

30-39-Male-Ryan Woerner, Female-Mary Edwards

40-49-Male-Brendan Lally, Female-Kerry Brady

50-59-Male-Tom Patchett, Female-Kathy Sosnowski

60-69-Male-Steve Gifford, Female-Patricia Loughran

70-79 Male-Russell Hauk, Female-Jackie McGinty

Many thanks for this great evening are due to the sponsors- Footlocker (Jeanne Lavin Zocks), The Wave, Harbor Light, Jameson’s, Bugalou Productions, Rockaway Times, and Bedford Funding; NYPD and 100 Pct CAO Farrell; NYC Parks; DSNY (Kevin Bagley and JoJo O’Grady); Fr. Bill, Fr. Jim, and the SFDS rectory Staff; Race Director Joe Featherston; Jim and Charmaine McVeigh of Rockaway Track Club/Boardwalk Timing; Felix Gilroy, Chris Gilroy; Bill Egan, Billy Egan, Mike Egan and WPE Catering; Allison Bagley, Jean Bagley, Kim Green, Graybeards Administrative wonder woman Jean Condon; all my fellow Graybeards who turned out to volunteer in droves, and all the runners and their families. Mark your calendar for the 20th annual Graybeards Family Run on Friday July 28, 2023. We hope that everyone who has participated in the run over the years will come out and join in for this special anniversary event.

By Keith Goldberg

 Photos by Tom Farley, LeighAnn Cromie, Kristina Ludica and Lauren Rafferty.

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