The weekend of September 25-26 was a volunteer weekend for me. During a Shawangunk Runners Summer Series run, Roger Brandt asked if we could help him organize a run in Port Ewen. We immediately said yes.
Brandt has volunteered at our races for years. The race Brandt was referring to was a revival of the old Esopus 5K that took place in conjunction with
the City of Esopus Apple Festival. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the festival.
We met in early August to form a committee. It was made up of Brandt, Laura Petit, Ulster County legislator and Stephen Lewis of Esopus, Diana Karron, president of the Onteora Runners Club, and myself. We discussed the T-shirts, the rewards, a registration site, the sponsors, the course and the volunteers. Karron and I agreed to organize the finish line and help with the promotion.
The race would be priced at six apple pies, but we convinced the committee that everyone should get something. We often call this a “finishing gift”. So at the end of the day we had the pies, winter run mittens, free run entry certificates, pottery, pint glasses and bags. The rest of the race committee focused on recruiting sponsors, volunteers and setting up a registration site.
The day of the race, the weather was wonderful. The sound system and music provided by Stephen Lewis in the start / finish area put everyone in an upbeat mood. However, there were two main issues. The first was that the town hall toilets were not open. The second problem was the traffic created by the traditional garage sales that took place with the festival. There were just too many cars, people and runners in the narrow streets.
Fortunately, everyone was careful and there were no accidents. However, I’m sure it was boring for runners and walkers.
Another problem created by garage sales was that parked cars covered the race marks in a corner causing some people to miss that corner and go 2.7 miles. Fortunately, most runners completed the full 5 km (3.11 mile) distance. It is quite easy to determine who ran the shortest simply by the race times. Most people wear GPS watches, which allows them to know how far they have run within a certain margin of error to account for inconsistencies with the watches and satellite reception. For the few runners who don’t use GPS watches, if your time was several minutes faster than your typical 5K, then you probably ran the distance of 2.7 miles. Since people ran two different distances, the race results do not accurately represent the
competitive part of the day.
One thing is clear: the fastest runner in the men was Luca Manieri (15:36) and in the women, Renee Darmstadt Keplinger. Renee’s pace per mile for the 2.7 miles (7:02) would have been equal to 21:46 for 5K.
There were 51 finishers for the event. I enjoyed the cookies and bananas donated by Bruderhof, then ventured into the apple festival food court and handed in my food voucher for a delicious burger.
When a new group is formed, there is always a learning curve. What I didn’t understand was the impact garage sales would have on the course. We learned that the route needs to be changed to reduce this impact for next year’s race and that it needs to start earlier to better fit into the festival schedule. We will also need more marshals at critical intersections. Nevertheless, the atmosphere of the race committee was optimistic and we look forward to next year.
The heart of the festival at the United Methodist Church in the city of Esopus convinced me that we need to explore all avenues to keep following the festival. He has a remarkable community feel that makes our region special.
On Sunday September 26, I walked to Dietz Memorial Stadium to volunteer for the 18th Annual Benedictine Hospital Foundation for Cancer Care Bike Race. I ended up guiding and encouraging the runners and walkers (155 people) as they left the stadium. Later, I pointed the runners to the track for their final push to the finish line.
As I was chatting with other volunteers, one of them asked me, “Are you Scott? I said, “No, I’m Steve; Scott is my brother. It was Rosie Interrante, a childhood friend from the old quarter. This meeting is one of the reasons I love living in my hometown and I will not become a “snowbird”. This year the race was a fun race, which meant there was no official timing or any awards. However, watching the race, I noticed Travis Geaves of Kingston was the fastest at the finish at 7:10 pm, a pace of 6:10 per mile. Caitlin Donovan, who grew up on Fair Street, ran for Kingston High School and now lives in Brooklyn,
was the fastest woman at 9:45 p.m., a pace of 7 minutes per mile.
This event has two missions: It helps raise funds for cancer patients in the region to help them face the costs of care not covered by insurance. This fantastic event also inspires people to go out for running and cycling and to engage in healthy activities.
During its existence, the Foundation has raised over $ 1.7 million for the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund. This year’s event raised over $ 117,000.
This year’s 5K race was held in memory of Tommy Keegan. The Keegan Army Running Club he founded was the top fundraising team, with $ 18,856. Individually, Tiffany Janasiewicz was the best fundraiser with $ 4,337. The largest sponsorship donation was from Stewart’s Shop / Davis Family in the amount of $ 5,000.
In addition, on September 25 and 26 was held the 50 Mile Rock the Ridge Challenge of the Mohonk reserve. Participants have up to 6 p.m. to complete the 50 miles. The challenge uses the beautiful motorable tracks that the reserve protects. This year, more than 600 runners and walkers registered for the challenge. The Ridge Rockers raised nearly $ 300,000 for the Mohonk reserve.
The big winner was Travis Hawkins in 6:04:01. The first woman was Jana Veliskova at 8:09:44 a.m. Looking through the results I recognized these local riders: Ian Becker (9:37:10), followed by Ian Erne in 9:42:14, who finished first in the 60-69 men’s age group. Others included Pam White (9:42), who was the second female in the 50-59 age group; Heather Freilich (11:30), Brittany Toman (11:45:07), Mary Warrener (12:11:24), Cyndy Brozumato-Cobb
(17:23:49), Jennifer Braun (17:23:49), Mary Roosa (17:23:49) and Colleen Kortright (17:23:50). In the relay division, the Hill Razors took third place overall and finished first in the mixed division with a time of 7:38:31. The team members were Kiki Hjeltnes, Rose Naparano, John Oates and Peg
In October, there are a ton of shopping in the area. I am involved with four of them. First, on October 9, the Shawangunk Runners hosted the Rosendale Runs Plains 4.3 mile race. This race benefits the Town of Rosendale Recreation Program.
Second, on October 17, the Rotary Club of Kingston presents the second annual Capital to Capital 5K. This race commemorates the
the burning of Kingston by the British in 1777 and traces the route taken by the Kingstonians to find safety in Hurley. This ongoing ‘history lesson’ will take you through the Stockade district of Uptown Kingston to the Old Stone Houses in Hurley. This event benefits the Hudson Valley Center for the Reintegration of Veterans.
Third, on Saturday October 23, the Morningstar Run for Shelter is a 5K run that will be an exhilarating tour of the Kingston neighborhoods between East Chester Street, Clifton and Foxhall avenues. It includes two trips through Hutton Park. This race benefits the Darmstadt homeless shelter in Kingston.
Finally, on October 30, the 11th annual UlsterCorps 5K, 2K walk and 1K kids’ run zombie race will take place. The kids’ run is free, and it’s the perfect Halloween-themed run for adults and families. Details of all of these races are in the Freeman Race Calendar and on zippyreg.com.
On November 14, at Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Gardiner, the Shawangunk Runners After The Leaves Josh Feldt Half Marathon is being held. This race starts at Lake Minnewaska and takes you around two pristine glacial lakes and above the spectacular Shawangunk Ridge. This
the event usually sells out. Registration is done on zippyreg.com.
It’s that time of year when many of us have to run in the dark. Be sure to wear reflective clothing or a vest. Please wear a headlamp. The new technology is light and comfortable. Make sure you are seen and don’t become a tragic statistic. Stay safe and have fun!
Steve Schallenkamp has been active in running circles since 1966 as a runner, race director, volunteer and trainer. He is a member of the Onteora Runners Club and President of the Shawangunk Runners Club.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on October 2, 2021 at 12:05 p.m. to correct Laura Petit’s title.