By Jamie Kempton
F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Yorktown Heights was the setting for the annual midsummer classic, the Masters Challenge 5K bringing together runners age 40 or older from RRR, Westchester Track Club and the host Taconic Road Runners. This year North Jersey Masters and Van Cortlandt Park Track Club also were represented with incomplete teams.
It was a beautiful night for a race, maybe a little on the warm side but not sticky, after a day filled with pleasant sunshine. The course, run entirely on paved park roads, was rolling with a few challenging hills, especially the tough incline near the end of the race when everybody is hurtin’ for certain. There were male and female categories in the 40+, 50+ and 60+ divisions, and scoring was category-specific; a runner could not score in both 40+ and 50+ divisions, for instance. Three cheers for our 60+ ladies – Marie Killeen, Enilda Indyk and Alexandra Finger – who won their category with ease! This is the second year in a row that RRR has captured the women’s 60+ bracket – a dynasty in the making!
In the other age groups, RRR finished second in both the men’s 50+ and women’s 40+ divisions, and third in the men’s 40+ category. Taconic had a solid turnout with 28 participants and captured four of the six age brackets, women’s 40+ and 50+ and men’s 50+ and 60+, while Westchester claimed the men’s 40+ division on the strength of a 1-2-4 overall finish. Chris Collins of Westchester was the overall winner in a fine time of 16:59 and Alyssa Lifrieri of Taconic took the women’s division in 20:37. Logan Scott led home the parade of RRR entrants by finishing a solid seventh place in 19:21. Kim Chalfin was RRR’s top female finisher and third overall in 20:54.
After the race everyone enjoyed sandwiches and beverages provided by Taconic and desserts contributed by all, including Enilda’s delicious cupcakes. Thanks and congratulations to the 15 RRR members who competed in this annual fun-filled gathering: Logan Scott, Eugene “Iggy” Carle, Wojcech “Voytek” Ciejzkowski, Bruce Yang, Jamie Kempton, Kim Chalfin, Alister Renwick, Ed Brown, Gary Scarano, Jim and Deb Duffy, Benny Kim, Marie “Grandma” Killeen, Enilda Indyk and last but certainly not least, Alexandra Finger. Kudos to Alexandra for going back and finishing the last portion of the course after inadvertently following a pair of runners who deviated from the prescribed route and finished prematurely. Without her extra effort, RRR couldn’t have won the W60+ division. Way to go Alexandra!
Mark your calendars for July 31, 2013 – always the last Wednesday in July – for the next edition of the Masters Challenge, to be hosted by Westchester Track Club at Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Sleepy Hollow.