ANNE MARIE LAUCK EASILY WINS THE
WOMEN'S DIVISION IN 26:55.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO

25th White Rose Run Highlights
Diversity, Equality, and Non-Violence

BY CLAY SHAW

YORK, PA--Early in 2001, on a training run on the rail trail, with Marty Grey, we talked about doing something special for the 25th running of the White Rose 5-Mile Run. We didn't know how special at the time, or in what form it would be.

After five years of title sponsorship, Smith Barney declined in July 2001. Marty Grey and others quickly secured new sponsors for the event: Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff, PeoplesBank, and the Bon-Ton. Changes to the last half of the course were an improvement, with the base of operations all shifted to East Market Street in downtown York.

The race riots of 1969 came into national prominence with the arrest of Mayor Charlie Robertson in May 2001. Thus, we felt that the theme for diversity, equality, and non-violence would be appropriate. The national attention was embarrassing and a rebuilding of a sense of community was needed. Then the attacks on September 11 took place. I was in the parking lot of Athletic Lettering (who prints our shirts each year) when I heard the shocking news on the radio.

 

DAVID NJUGUNA, WINNER OF THE 2001
WHITE ROSE RUN IN 24:34.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
Because of these events, we added an American flag to the T-shirt design, and we invited Leslie Seifert, of West York High School, to sing the National Anthem and Greg "Flagman" Kerek, of Lancaster, to display and run with Old Glory. Mayor-elect John Brenner greeted the crowd and Bobby Simpson, Executive Director of Crispus Attucks, offered words of wisdom just prior to the start of the race, held November 10.

With most of the Kenyan men heading home after a long racing season or marathon, David Njuguna was the lone Kenyan man, but he was not without company, as Birger Ohlsson, of Sweden, ran with him for three miles before Njuguna pulled away for a somewhat easy 24:34 victory. Ohlsson then dueled with Marylander Jason DeJoy all the way to the finish, with Ohlsson just edging DeJoy at the line. Masters star Andrey Kuznetsov, of Russia, took fourth in 25:08.

The women's race was quite international, but former USA champs took the top three spots. USA Olympian Anne Marie Lauck, the 1999 champ, easily won in 26:55. Misti Demko, champ in 1991, 1992, and 1998, took second. Julie Bowers, champ in 1985, 1986, 1995, and 1997, took third. Olena Plastitina, of Ukraine, was fourth in 28:57. Plastitina would, a week later, win the Philadelphia Marathon. Lucy Njeri, of Kenya, was fifth, and Amy Pyles, of Hummelstown, outsprinted ultramarathoner Elvira Kolpakova for sixth place.

 

OLENA PLASTITINA, 4TH FEMALE
IN 28:57.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO
There were 52 more finishers in 2001, and this was a good sign for the future. Hopefully, more will complete the event in 2002. In a unique gesture, the race offered free entry to entrants 18 and under with hopes of bringing younger runners to the sport. The Christiansen family, from Greenville, PA, had five youthful runners and two adults. They took home six awards, including one age-group record by 10-year-old Job Christiansen with a time of 30:07. Richard Stotlar, of Shrewsbury, ran 31:03, breaking the 60-69 record by 37 seconds.

Many thanks go out to our major sponsors: Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff, PeoplesBank, and the Bon-Ton, and to contributing sponsors Culligan, Big Sky Bread, and the Yorktowne Hotel.

Thanks to race director Penny Hornock, jack-of-all-trades Marty Grey, and to all of the race volunteers (over 50 on the city course alone). Thanks to the York City police and fire police, and the YMCA of York for staffing the water stations. The YMCA received a check from the race for its Worthy Youth Program. This will help fund memberships for youth who could not otherwise afford to participate in YMCA programs.