The largest turnout ever, more than 800 runners, took part in Sunday's ilometer Run for ASPIRE.
Beginning and ending at H. B. Middle School, this year's event attracted the full gamut of runners, wheelchair athletes and several young amputees from the program. ASPIRE amputees are also the direct beneficiaries for the run.
ASPIRE is a specialized program designed in conjunction with the Amputee Coalition of America to provide prosthetic devices, intensive physical therapy and athletic rehabilitation to young amputees, bone cancer victims and those who have suffered from traumatic amputations.
One wheelchair athlete who participated in the event was 14 year old Emily Brust, who suffers from Hip Dysplasia. Finishing at an impressive 45 minutes, she left many of the other runners far behind. As an inspiration to everyone, she recieved a round of applause when she crossed the finish line. Brust began racing a year ago, and hasn't stopped since. "I used to run, and after being diagnosed, I didn't want to stop. I just decided to keep going," said Brust.
The top winners of the event were Chris Mammone, Male Overall with 32:15; Jodie Schoppmann, Female Overall with 36:08; John Kane, Male Master 36:18 and Una Broderick, Female Master with 40:00.
Another impressive aspect of the race was the performance by the oldest runners, who were Burt Jablon, 84; Odd Sangesland, 81 and Ruth Maller, 82. Jablon finished at 1:16:32, while Sangesland finished at 1:22:37 and Maller finished at 1:32:52.
The amputee winners of the race were Nick Roumonada and Kate Hughes, both of whom are in the ASPIRE program. The youngest runners, James Markhorst and Madeline Bastainiac, both finished under 60 min.
After the run, food, water and massage services by the Greater Long Island Running Club Massage Team were provided for the runners. Attending the event were numerous public officials, including Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Nassau Legislators Judy Jacobs and Rose Walker, state Assemblyman Michael Montesano, and Frank Sammartano, Deputy Commissioner for the Oyster Bay Parks Department.
"It's one of the most wonderful events i've been a part of. There are so many people who need our help, and it's an honor to be here," said Jacobs. "It's very inspiring to see such athletic ability and passion. What a great event for a great cause," said Walker.
The award ceremony was hosted by Karen Schackner, Race Director; and Tony Wiszowaty, Nationwide Insurance, the race sponsor. "We want to thank Plainview for their enormous community support," said Schackner.
Wiszowaty's company has been sponsoring this race for the past 20 years. "It's always been an honor to be a part of this event, every year is a wonderful time," said Wiszowaty. David Balsley of ASPIRE also sponsored the event. "We can't thank everyone here enough for making this race a remarkable event for Plainview," said Balsley.
Raffle prizes were also given following the award ceremony. The awards were donated by , Hi Tech Photo, North Shore Performing Arts, NY Islanders, Se Li Vie Boutique and Cardboard Memories. Other sponsors included who donated cloth bags to the participants,including it's owner John Aprea, who participated in the race, and , which donated bananas to the runners. The provided parking for the runners.