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The 2013 Cupid's Chase 5K Run in Glen Rock

FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2013
GLEN ROCK GAZETTE article .pdf

After snowstorms and predicted bad weather forced two postponements of the 2013 Cupid’s Chase 5K Run in Glen Rock , the event finally took place last Saturday when 152 runners completed the event. The original entry total was 311, but t he weather delays cut down that number.

After Friday’s snow wound down, Saturday was a clear, sunny day with a bit of wind. Race director Meredith Quinn expressed thanks to the Glen Rock Police Department for giving the okay to start the race that benefits Community Options Inc. (COI), a national non-profit organization that has been developing residential and employment supports and advocacy for people with disabilities since 1989.

“We were happy to be able to run the race,” Quinn said. “A lot of hard work and effort went into it.” Quinn and Nicole Palma are executive directors of COI’s North Jersey offices.

Jean Mercedes, 20, of Englewood was the first finisher, timing 17:14.15, but a number of personal achievements were recorded by many runners. Rob Dill, 45, one of 11 Glen Rock runners who competed, placed sixth with a 19:58.88 time on a busy racing day. He was the first Glen Rock runner to finish. Dill, a biological sciences associate professor at Bergen Community College, ran 20 miles that day. He started with a 6 1/2-mile run, then did the 5K (3.1 miles) and followed with a 10 1/2-mile run

“I’m training extremely hard for a marathon in five weeks, and it’s starting to pay off,” Dill said. “It worked out well for me, and I’m pretty excited.” The veteran road runner said it was a nice race and a perfect day for it. Dill also won his age group, 45-49.

The first female finisher was 27-year-old Stephanie Lasner of New City, N.Y., whose time was 19:16.47. She was the fifth overall finisher. Christine Daquino, 45, was the first Glen Rock woman to finish. Her time was 25:51.40, and she was 45th overall.

Glen Rock ’s Scott Bella, 46, came in 18th in 21:53.64. He was fourth in the male 45-49 bracket. Robert Rundle, Jr., 43, of Glen Rock finished 51st in 26:21.71. He was fifth in the 40-44 age grouping.

Jessica Taromina and Nicole Hayward of Glen Rock , both 41, placed 52nd and 53rd, overall, with respective times of 26:23.58 and 26:26.51. They placed two-three in the female 40-44 age bracket.

Mark Ardalan, 39, of Glen Rock , was the 70th finisher in 28 :18.34. Dylan Miller-Jones, 11, was 74th, 28:28.90, and Maddox Miller-Jones, 9, was 108th with a 31:38.99 time. They placed four-five in the male 1-12 group.

Deihdra Miller, 38, of Glen Rock was 110th overall and ninth in the 35-39 age group with a 31:39.45 time. Paul Hettesheimer, 43, of Glen Rock was 112th in 31:50.17, eighth in the male 40-44 listings.

Behind Mercedes at the top of the finishers was 27-year-old Joe Singleton of Mahwah with a 17:53.48 clocking. Nader Abadir, 36, of Mahwah was third in 18:22.51. Lisa Swain, 54, of Fair Lawn was the second female finisher with a 20:51.00 time, placing 12th overall.

There were runners from all over North Jersey, along with a few from Rockland and Westchester counties, and the oldest entrant, 83-year-old Bill Walsh of Staten Island, who was the only runner and winner in the male 70-9 9 age group with a time of 58:32.82. Eight- year-old Julia Guzik of Ridgewood was the youngest competitor. She was timed in 46:28.57 and took female 1-12 honors with no opposition.

This year, the Cupid’s Chase is especially important as the organization was hit brutally by Superstorm Sandy. In New Jersey alone, COI operates 90 group homes. Before the storm hit, COI prepared by moving its residents to hotels and other group homes out of Sandy’s way and ensured the safety of its vulnerable population. Staff members worked countless hours to coordinate the effort.

The funds from Cupid’s Chase will go a long way in helping COI get back to where it was before the storm. Despite the reduced number of expected runners, the Glen Rock event raised about $10,000 with the help of sponsorship.

The name of the event is Valentine-themed, as it was supposed to take place around Valentine’s Day before being postponed by the winter weather. Participants get to wear “available” or “unavailable” shirts to display their relationship status. Quinn said a lot of runners like the T-shirt idea. This is the third year that Glen Rock has been a run host.