Before the sun was high in the sky, hundreds of volunteers, spectators and runners gathered on Lakeville Road to take part in the second annual Katie’s 5K run and two mile walk.
Katie McBride passed away in 2008 to the rare cancer Burkitt’s Lymphoma; the New Hyde Park community has found a way to honor her memory and raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House where Katie's family stayed during her battle.
The McBride family was able to make the event possible with the help of the Ronald McDonald House, where Katie spent a lot of her time. Katie’s father, Mike McBride, believes the most important part of the race is for everyone to have fun, because that is the way she would have liked it to be. And many of the approximately 800 participants agree.
Runner Dan Kulchinski of Huntington, who is part of the Greater Running Club of Long Island, participates in a race every weekend. His dedication snagged him the first place in his age-group category. However, getting a good time at the finish line was not why he chose to participate in the event.
“It’s for an important charity,” he said. “The whole community is involved and that’s important.”
As for runner Vince Cary, a funeral director of the Gleason Funeral Home in Flushing, participating in the race did not take a second thought. McBride is the funeral director of the and Cary heard from workers what he was doing in the memory of his daughter. Cary even inspired his sons Nolan, 12, and David, 16, to take part in the event.
For some participants, Katie’s Run was a lot closer to home. For mother and daughter duo Caroline and Maureen Waters, this was their first time participating in any race and they chose this one because the McBrides are their cousins.
“It is a nice thing to honor Katie and be a part of something that will help families in her situation," Maureen Waters said.
People who support other local groups, such as the Hance Family Foundation, also came to Katie's Run.
At 9:25 a.m., the runners of the 5K race were lined up and anxiously awaiting the kick off. Master of ceremonies Terry Bisogno kept the race to a tight schedule; the air horn was blown and the first of the runners would not be seen until another 16 minutes in. In first place was Thomas Awad, a17-year-old student of , his time broke last year’s record set by Mark Carbone of 17:06, with his completed time of 16:51.7.
Awad was followed closely by William Hensler, a 36-year-old participant from Brooklyn, whose time was 16:55.9. Third place was taken by ’s own Track and Field coach Bill Buith, a 27-year-old who lives in Garden City, with the time 17:06.4.
The top three females also had improved times. Kerri Gallagher, a 22-year-old resident from Belle Harbor, beat last year’s female record holder Bea Huste-Petersen’s time of 20:35 by about thirty seconds with a time of 20:09.4. She was followed by Carmen Anderson, a 46-year-old from Great Neck with a time of 21:09.4. Angela Coppola, a 41-year-old New Hyde Park resident, rounded out the top three females with a flat time of 22:56. Coppola was the first New Hyde Park female to cross the finish line.
The concluded the event with a complementary barbeque with food from the as the award ceremony progressed.
Last year, the event had approximately 70 participants and this year it grew over 100 percent to have about 800. Last year's donation to Ronald McDonald House was about $11,000. McBride was hoping to at least this year.
To see more runners’ times, please visit the website: Start2Finish.