Plainview Runners ASPIRE to Race For a Good Cause

Greater L.I. Running Club holds 10K event near Mattlin to raise money for young amputees.

There's no fooling on this April 1st ... it was a great day for a run in Plainview. An estimated 800 runners took part in the 10K Run for ASPIRE on Sunday in the area of Mattlin Middle School.

The event is hosted by the Greater Long Island Running Club, and proceeds for the event go to the Adolescent Sarcoma Patient’s Intense Rehabilitation through Exercise (ASPIRE), which helps young amputees. This year's event also helped fund the Stanley Kramberg Memorial Scholarship, in memory of the longtime running club participant.

This year's overall and men's winner was Chris Mammone from Massapequa, a member of the Bellmore Striders running club, which always has a strong showing in the event. Chris finished the over six mile race in 31:51.

"It's definitely for a great cause, it's great to see all the amputees out there running, walking," Mammone said. "You don't see that much, but you come here and see it, it's interesting, definitely great."

The women's crown went to Heather Williams of Centerport, who's been racing in the ASPIRE event for 25 years.

"It's an awesome community, that's why I'm out here," Williams said. "There's no other sport like it, just a great group no matter who wins, we support each other just like we support the cause."

Several amputees did in fact take part, with Michael Laforgia of Smithtown and Sarah Reinertsen from California winning the men's and women's categories, respectively.

Full race results can be found at www.pigmantri.com. Check out Patch's photos and videos from all the action.

Mike Polansky April 01, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I'd like to give special thanks to (a) our Event Director Karen Schackner for a job very well done, and (b) to the residents of Plainview-Old Bethpage for their understanding and support. An event like this by definition must cause some inconvenience to local residents. We try to minimiize the inconvenience, and we very much appreciate the fact that my POB friends and neighbors are tolerant and supportive of this effort. If anyone has any constructive criticisms or suggestions as to how we can work more closely witth the POB community on this event, please call me at (516) 349-7646. Thanks again, Mike Polansky, President Greater Long Island Running Club
Simba April 02, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Mike How about not having an event like this during any major Religious holiday. This race could of been held on Saturday and avoid Palm Sunday.
Mike Polansky April 02, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Thanks Simba -- we ALWAYS work with any religious institutions along or around the rourte of our events to assure that we don't interfere with them. St. Pius RC Church on Washington Avenue is at the 5.6 mile mark on the ASPIRE 10K, and EVERY year we talk with them to assure that we don't interfere with anyone going to Mass -- not just Palm Sunday, but EVERY Sunday. In addition, the NCPD detail assigned to the event was quite conscious of the need to accommodate those going in or out of the St. Pius parking lot; since it is so close to the end of the race, it is relatively easy to get cars thru in between the runners. Are you a parishioner at St. Pius? If there was a SPECIFIC problem, please let me know about it so that we can fix it for the future, but please understand that we try ALWAYS to be sensitive to a potential problem....and not just on Palm Sunday, but every Sunday
SCA April 02, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Mike, As one of the races' Old Bethpage neighbors, I respectfully disagree with your comments. We live in an area that was completely surrounded by the race course and were never notified that we were going to be completely isolated for over forty five minute. We were unable to pick get our daughter from Sunday School, deliver her brother to Sunday School or take their other brother to his Soccer game because any direction we had to travel was blocked by the race. I know other families that had similar experinces. What had we had an emergency? As far as we are concerrned your team did an extremely poor job of alerting the community to the event. Working with one or two houses of worship is a far cry from alerting the community. Perhaps next year you can send a mailing or perhaps work with the town to utilize their telephone notification system to insure everyone who is going to isolated by the event knows what to expect.
Gone April 02, 2012 at 12:50 PM
@Mike, The police were there on Washington Avenue near St. Pius X, but were just leaning on their cars - not assisting with folks entering the St. Pius X parking lot. To be fair, I only had to wait about 30 seconds to make the turn, but I was concerned driving up Washington (on the wrong side of the road) with all the runners. I agree with Simba, having the race on a different weekend would resolve this issue and create a safer environment for the runners.
Mike Polansky April 02, 2012 at 01:18 PM
SCA- We send out a letter to EVERYONE on or near the course about a week beforehand, including everyone in Old Bethpage, telling them exactly what's happening and what to expect. Since this amonunts to over 2500 homes, I can't be sure that USPS actuallu delivers all of them, but my spot sampling indicated that 5 out of the 5 people I spoke to in Old Bethpage did receive the letter....as did Themple Beth Elohim. I am guessing that you live on one of the streets east of Round Swamp Road, where there could be a bit of a problem. (My daughter and her family live on Woodland). That's exacctlywhy we send out all those letters, so that people can plan ahead. If you give me your name and address I will double check it against the list we get from the mailing house to make SURE that you get next year's mailing. I will be happy to do the same for any of your neighbors who didn't get the mailing. By the way, Emergency verhicles will also get immediate access to wherever they need to go. Have your eceived any notification in past years? We do the mailing every year (for the past 35 years) and I want to make sure that our list is complete. Mike
Mike Polansky April 02, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Thor -- I'm glad to hear that it only took you 30 seconds to make the turn, altho' I wish the police had been a bit more proactive than you tell me they were. As you know, we use only the shoulder on Washington Avenue for the runners., to make things easier for the vehicular traffic. I understand your concern, but hopefully you had no practical problem getting in or out of St. Pius or otherwise. I'm not sure that Palm Sunday is any more difficult in principle than any other Sunday, but this is something that we will definitely talk to the office over there about before setting a date for 2013. Thanks for your input.
Gone April 02, 2012 at 04:34 PM
@Mike, I personally did not have a problem, but there are two points I respectfully disagree with. First, the runners were not just using the shoulder; they were utilizing the entire northbound lane. In fact NCPD had a car across that lane (near Middle School) forcing traffic to use the other lane. Second, Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday. Attendance at Church is significantly increased during this time. Lastly, I was not aware of this race until I read about it on the Patch and it sounds like this is all being done for a good cause. Moving the date might increase attendance and support for ASPIRE.
Mike Polansky April 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Thor -- 1. I have photos showing that the runners on Washington Avenue were in fact using only the shoulder, with the rest of the road coned off. I will send one over to joe Dowd in hopes he can post it so that you can see what I mean. 2. I know that Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week, and that Church attendance is higher on Palm Sunday than on other Sundays. That's why we are very careful to coordinate with the office at St. Pius. We spoke to them at length in advance of the race, and again this morning -- they gave us a "no problem...and we're happy to be a part of the event. That being said -- the only reason that the race was Palm sunday this year was because of the Calendar -- this is an early April event, traditionally, and obviously Easter Sunday April 8 wouldn't work, so (again after going oveer the details with St Pius) we picked the 1st. Nextyear Easter Sunday is March 31, so I can assure you that the race will be on April 7thexactly one week AFTER Easter Sunday.Thanks for your constructive comments and good wishes -- we have been using the ASPIRE 10K to support the young amoutees for 35 years now -- it is the oldest continuously held 10K race on Long Island. Hey, why not run with us next year!
Gone April 02, 2012 at 07:53 PM
@Mike, if I had thought that my word would be questioned, I would have taken a picture to share with you as well. At around 9:55 there were runners in the road – some also running in the opposite direction of the main pack as well. I believe I shared my thought respectfully. Best of luck to you in the future.
Simba April 02, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Mike I understand the importance of your event, BUT without question any religious holiday takes precedence. You need to work around that. I personally don't care that you want to plan your even in April, that's fine but be respectful to our holidays. Second you claim people were notified, I did not, nor any of my neighbours, NONE. Third St. Pius is not the only Christian house of worship, some of use travel to other communities to worship. My recommendation is to hold this event on a Saturday, do you have any objection to that, or does that conflict with the Jewish community.
Mike Polansky April 02, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Simba -- Of course I understand the sensitivity of religious holidays of every religion, and we DO understand that there are people who go to religious services in other communities -- but there are four houses of worship on the course -- a Catholic Church, a Methodist Church, the Mormon Tabernacle, and a Jewish synagogue, that we need to immediately convcern ourselves with. I am curious as to where you live that you didn't get a letter from us -- our mailing a week before the race targeted every home in the eastern half of Plainview and all of Old Bethpage. If you can tell me your address (and/or that of any of your neighbors who also didn't get the mailing I will make personally sure that you are on the list for 2013. We did the race on Saturday for more than 30 years, but the Police asked us to move it to Sunday to minimize traffic congestion. Mike
Simba April 02, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Mike I live in Old Bethpage, between Haypath and OCR, the race completely encircled my area. As far as the Sunday/Saturday issue, I appreciate you letting us know about the decision by the police, I will bring this issue up to them.
Sharon April 03, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I live in Plainview and I got absolutely no notification of the event either. My son goes to Hebrew School every Sunday morning and we take Washington Avenue to get there. When my husband tried to take him this past Sunday, he found that the road was temporarily closed and was forced to go up to Jericho Tpke and come down the other side, making many children late. When I went to pick him up, the road was open but I had to travel in the opposite lane because some of the runners were running 4 or 5 across and taking up one entire lane, and causing vehicles traveling in the opposite direction to have to stop. I think the race is a wonderful event, but notice to everyone in Plainview and Old Bethpage would be extremely helpful as more than just St. Pius is affected.
Mike Polansky April 03, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Again, we send letters to roughly 2500 homes a week before the event. It's not cheap to do so and, of course, it takes money away from the charity we bnefit, but we believe that it ismportant to notify everyone in Plainview-Old Bethpage who is affected by the event. We cover every home in Old Bethpage and a good hunk of Plainview. I assume that the Post Office delivers what we send, so all I can think of is that some people just throw them away without looking at them, but I can't control that. There was also plenty of advance notice on Plainview-Patch and the Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald. This was our 35h year of doing the event for the amputees, and we do everything possible and then some to let the community know what's happening. That being said,I would love anyone's input as to what else we can do to notify them.
Simba April 03, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Mike A simple sign at the Old Country Road and Plainview Road would of been great, also signs at the major intersections along the route would of helped as well. I am being honest with you, we did not get any mailing and neither did my neighbours.
Sharon April 03, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I have no reason not to believe that you send out the letters and that they cost a great deal of money, but I know I did not receive anything and i read all my mail. If people don't read the information you send, and not everyone is aware of the Patch website, I would recommend you save your money and try a different tactic. Perhaps a notice in Newsday or the sign idea mentioned earlier? I think most people would agree that the race is a great event and don't wish to stop it. They just need a more effective way to give notice of it.
Mike Polansky April 03, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Sharon, & Simba -- The signage is a great idea and we will add it to our list for 2013. That being said, I really am concerned about our mailed notices not being delivered by the post office. We always fe,lt that it was the single most effective way to notify people. If you folks could provide me wuith your postal addresses, I want to check them against our list and -- if they are one the list -- I will have a few words with the Plainview and Old Bethpage post offices. If you don't want your addresses made public, please just email them to spolansky@aol.com rather than puttiing them here as a comment. Thanks, it would really help!


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