By Bettina Sementilli of Cross Sport Woman
High humidity and impending storms are not exactly ideal racing conditions, but 16 year old Benjamin Barton of Bedford smashed his record from last year with a blistering 18:03 win at the Katonah 5K on Saturday.
With a record turnout of over 250 participants, our running community came out in full force to show their support for our Katonah and Bedford Hills libraries raising a grand total of $5000!
Kicking off the event was local singing talent Victoria Dennis who sang a heartfelt rendition of our national anthem to rousing applause.
At the sound of Frank Greene’s whistle, we were off! The pace was quick at the start with a flat and a downhill leading to the first hill at Wildwood. The soft cushioning of Katonah Park’s trails followed to help cool down runners and pick up the pace.
Then the hills of Katonah challenged us with their relentless assault on our lungs and legs. Did anyone even notice the smiley face painted on Terrace Street?
With less than a mile to go, the flats at the top of Terrace and New Streets were a welcome relief, but it wasn’t over. After the turn onto Huntville, the last half mile seemed endless with another hill and no finish line in sight.
Once over the final hill, you could hear the crowd cheering and Frank’s voice announcing runners as they came in. The final sprint to the finish signaled the end (for this runner) to a great race!
And, of course, honorable mention must be given to the tots who waited very patiently while 5K awards were presented. Don’t worry kids, you won’t have to wait next year!
New and veteran runners turned out for this popular local race. It has been a pleasure meeting young, new runners like Pippa Nuttall of Katonah, who at 11 years old, ran her third 5K in as many weeks. Pippa posted a time of 22:17, placing first in her age group and third overall in the women’s category! Or Shirley Copeland who at 52 ran her first 5K and loved it.
This race would not have happened without the effort and determination of our terrific team led by Race Director Annie Bai, Frank Greene (our Chief Routing Officer and MC extraordinaire) and Mike Berardino. Both Frank and Mike’s past race experience provided invaluable support and guidance. As for myself, as Frank says, I was Annie’s “spiritual guide and inspiration” and I suppose that’s as good as it gets. But designing race shirts, picking out medals and helping others do their best was a great perk as well. Katonah Elementary School also kindly provided a venue for us to hold our race this year and we are grateful. A donation of $100 was presented to the KES PTO for their generosity in allowing us to share their annual 5th grade car wash day with them. Lastly, a race would be nothing without its sponsors and many businesses helped to make this race possible, so “Shop Local!”.
This is a wonderful community that, as a new business owner, I am very proud to be a part of. Katonah has shown itself to be a warm, welcoming town full of folks with generous hearts. I hope to continue to be a part of this race as long as possible and more importantly, a part of this amazing community.
List of Sponsors: Bedford Hills Chamber of Commerce; Katonah Chamber of Commerce; Cross Sport Woman; State Farm- Mike Berardino; Katonah Village Improvement Society; Oestricher, Ennis, Dalrymple, Dalrymple,LLP; Frank Veith- Esq; Katonah Art Center; Katonah Wine & Liquor; Ricci Greene Associates; Indian Auto Collision; Katonah Insurance Agency; Premier Physical Therapy; Saw Mill Club; Bedford 2020/Energize Bedford; Bedford Hills Lions Club; Bedford Hills Family Chiropractic (“Dr Stu”); Blue Dolphin Restaurant; Charles Department Store; Christina Dochtermann- Realtor; Complete Nutrition; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; First Niagara Bank; Jodi’s Gym; Katonah Memorial Park Association; Katonah Podiatry; Katonah Restaurant; Kelloggs & Lawrence; Law Offices of Judith Reardon- Esq; Little Joe’s Books; Marti Martial Arts; Muscoot Tavern; Northern Westchester Auto Body; Satori Spa; Scaglio’s Market; Sign*A*Rama Westchester North; TrustCo Bank; Verizon Wireless Zone; Vogler Bros Septic Tank; Weinstein’s Pharmacy; Westchester Health Associates.
Special Thanks to: Geller-Tannenbaum Family, McLaughlin Family, Sandlund Family, Susan Warsaw , Petitti-Kornel Family, Robert and Kirsten Cummings, Trisha and Santiago Rozas, Roberta Kelleher, Brian Stempel, the Bedford Police and last, but not least, the Boy Scouts and race course volunteers who helped steer runners in the right direction!
See more great race photos on the Katonah 5K Road & Trail Race Facebook page.