Timothy ONeill and Ursula Lam
BY MANNY POKOTILOW
PHILADELPHIA, PA--Everyone who participated in the 25th annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Charity Run and Walk was a winner. The event, which was held on May 16, 2004 on West River Drive, raised more than $90,000 for the beneficiaries: the Support Center for Child Advocates and the American Diabetes Association. The temperature was approximately 68 degrees at the start of the race and 70 degrees at the end. All of the participants had a great day to run and were able to relax and enjoy the food, drinks, and gifts provided by the sponsors of the race.
This year the Philadelphia Bar Association was joined not only by long-time sponsors Wawa, Inc., The Legal Intelligencer, JuriStaff, Inc., UpDate Legal, USI Colburn Insurance Service, and Veritext, but also by new sponsors FirsTrust and Iron Mountain.
The race was also well supported by the Philadelphia legal community and the following legal sponsors: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Anapol, Schwartz, Weiss, Cohan, Feldman and Smalley, P.C.; Barrack, Rodos & Bacine; Blank Rome LLP; Buchanan Ingersoll PC; Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd.; Cozen OConnor; DrinkerBiddle; Fox Rothschild LLP; Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin; Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP; Neil A. Morris Associates, PC; Pepper Hamilton LLP; RatnerPrestia; Raynes, McCarty, Binder, Ross & Mundy; Reed Smith, LLP; Semanoff, Ormsby, Greenberg & Torchia, LLC; WolfBlock and Woodcock Washburn LLP.
The first person to cross the finish line was Timothy ONeill of Springfield (Delaware County), a graduating senior at St. Joes Prep who will attend Princeton University in the Fall. Timothys time was a very quick 16:13. The first woman in the race was Ursula Lam, a 24-year-old social worker with the Social Welfare Program of Philadelphia. The second to cross the finish line was Neill Clark of Berger Montague who finished first among the members of the Bar in a remarkable time of 16:44. Mary Tomich, running for the Dilworth Paxson team, again finished first among female members of the Bar in a strong 19:49. She narrowly beat 25-year-old Sian Fernas who was running for the Goldberg, Miller and Rubin team.
Both the male and female sides of the competition were extremely competitive this year with 572 finishers and close to 700 registered runners.
As the race started, 23-year-old Matt Gioffre, running for the Eisenberg Rothweiler team, and 16-year-old Evan Cantu-Hertzler broke to the front of the pack, closely followed by former winner of the race Rick McGarry, and Neil Clark. At a quarter-mile all five were bunched with a new runner, Brian Hall, also of the Eisenberg Rothweiler team.
At a half-mile, Joerg Dickert joined the group of five and went in front of the lead pack with Cantu-Hertzler and Matt Gioffre. A seventh runner, 25-year-old Jason Bull, also joined the pack of six. As the group approached one mile, McGarry and ONeill went to the lead followed by Clark.
By the time the group had reached one-mile, McGarry was in the lead passing the one-mile point at 5:06 followed by ONeill, Bull, Clark, Gioffre, and Dickert. The group continued to change leads with ONeill going to the front of the group by the turnaround which he passed in eight minutes. McGarry followed in second place, Bull in third place, and Clark in fourth place. As the four continued, ONeill continued to build a lead which was approximately 40 yards over McGarry by the time the group reached the two-mile point. Bull was 20 yards behind McGarry followed closely by Clark. Clark slowly began to pass Bull and then finally overtook McGarry to finish second overall and first in the Bar competition. McGarry finished nine seconds after Clark followed by Jason Bull in 17:01.
Tomich reached the turnaround at 1½ miles in first place followed by Harvey, Fernas, Kolesar, and Lam, who began to gain on the group.
Lam continued to increase her pace, slowly passing Kolesar, Harvey, and finally Tomich.
Fernas shadowed Tomich the entire way and could not quite catch her at the end. Harvey finished a close fourth followed by Maryrose Blaney in fifth and Kolesar in sixth.
In Company Team competition, sponsor USI Colburn finished first. The team had three first place finishes by Dennis McGee, Ashlee Sutter, and Elizabeth Sutter in their respective age classifications. Sponsor Parente Randolph finished second. The team was led by the first place finish of Gene Hatenjuk. Sponsor American Lawyer Media finished third and was led by a first place finish of Melissa Nann.
In the Legal Team competition, Duane Morris won, followed by the Law Offices of General Counsel in Harrisburg in second place and the Eisenberg Rothweiler team in third place.
Duane Morris was led by the first place performances of William Harris and Arthur Momjian in their respective age groups and the second place finishes of Dennis McCarthy and Sharon Caffrey in their age groups.
The Office of General Counsel was led by former Attorney General Jerry Gornish, a former partner at WolfBlock and now Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement Board. Other team contributions included a second place finish by Michael Budin in the 60-64 Open age group and Harriet F. Withstandleys top finish in her 55-59 Bar age group.
Eisenberg Rothweiler finished in third place among the 51 teams and was led by Brian Hall and Matt Gioffre, both of whom had first places in their age groups. Samantha Desposito had a sixth place finish for a team total of eight points.
In the postrace ceremonies, Jeffrey Kall, a teacher at the Moffett School in Philadelphia, was honored for having run all 25 of the Philadelphia Bar Charity Runs. He was given a jacket specially made by the organizers of the race to commemorate the occasion. The oldest runner in the race was George Blyn, 86, who finished second among men 80 and over. The oldest member of the Philadelphia Bar Association who completed the race was Philip Shiekman of Fox Rothschild LLP who has run substantially all of the races including the first Philadelphia Bar Charity Run in 1980, which was then known as the Philadelphia Bar-Diabetes 10K.
Timothy ONeill, 17, the winner of the race, was the youngest to have won the race to date. He ran this race for the first time. Lam is still in her first year of running. Last year she was one of the walkers in the event finishing in a time of 1:16:18. She finished almost an hour faster this year! For Clark and Tomich, it was their sixth consecutive win in the Bar Association competition. For Clark the first three were in the 2-mile competition which was replaced by the single race distance of 5K. Tomichs prior wins were in the 10K races.
The 25th running of the Philadelphia Bar Association Charity Run/Walk also had an individual Bar competition which was won by Neill Clark of Berger Montague and Mary Tomich of Dilworth. It was the sixth consecutive time that both Neill and Mary won the Bar Association competition. Alan Feldman, Vice-Chancellor of the Bar Association, ran the 5K race and Chancellor Gabe Bevilacqua and Vice Chancellor Andrew Chirls worked as volunteers and participated in the awards ceremony.
The sponsors of the Run provided a smorgasbord of food, drinks, and gifts for all of the runners that participated in the race. The weather also cooperated to provide a comfortable temperature for running and also relaxing after the race while enjoying all of the goodies given out by the sponsors.
The organizers are very grateful for the considerable support given by the legal community and in particular the support given by all of the volunteers who helped make this race the best ever.
In addition to the awards given to the first place winners of each of the age groups, all of the participants were treated to smoothies and water bottles courtesy of FirsTrust, iced-tea and fruit drinks courtesy of Wawa, key chains courtesy of Iron Mountain, and fruit, soft pretzels, key chains, and stress balls courtesy of Veritext. Pens and flashlights were distributed by USI Colburn and towels were distributed by UpDate Legal. JuriStaff distributed water bottles and the Philadelphia Bar Association distributed special commemorative mugs.
It was a memorable 25th year for the Run!
Finally, a warm thank you to all of the volunteers who worked at the race and made it possible for everyone to enjoy, to our sponsors, and to our terrific participants!