BY JIM ROBBINS
Maggie Freeman, Englishtown, a sergeant in the Manalapan police force was the first finisher of many patrolwomen at a racing time of 20:14. The other four dedicated patrolwomen who all received special awards were Jeanne Rabii 23:57, Somerset; Jennifer Jukas 24:52, Toms River; Maria Franceschini 28:25, Sea Girt; and Eileen Allen 29:09, Freehold.
I think its a great race for a great cause--I
think its a wonderful thing to have a race in his honor,
said Freeman, who also serves as vice-president of the Freehold
Area Racing Club, when asked her thoughts on the purpose of the
Sgt. Pats 5K. The event honors the Long Branch police officer
Sergeant Patrick King and according to Footnotes, the JSRC newsletter:
On November 20, 1997, Sgt. Patrick King was killed while
on duty in a town that he had lived in most of his life. Sgt.
King was on his dinner break at the Ming Ying restaurant in the
West End section of Long Branch. While waiting at the counter
after ordering his dinner, a lone gunman walked into the restaurant
and fired two bullets into the back of Sgt. Kings head.
Sgt. King never had a chance to use the knowledge and expertise
that he had learned in all his years of training to protect the
public. The race is done in his memory.
The overall champion of the total 655 racers was Pedro Espinosa, 24, of Freehold at 16:09 and finishing second and third were Maximilian Sparshatt, 16, of Rumson at 16:30 and Luciano DeOliveira, 29, Long Branch at 16:39.
Nancy Thorne of Long Branch was satisfied with her 27:28 racing time because as she indicated she wanted to participate in this memorial race but didnt feel up to competing so she enjoyed the camaraderie of her many racing friends and the good exercise. Her dad, Al Thorne, former police chief of West Long Branch, also participated in the two-mile walk which, along with the Kids Races, is part of this event (he had already done his regular four-mile walk on the boardwalk). Nancy will again direct the annual Michael Thorne 4-Mile Scholarship Run, that will be staged at Franklin Lake in West Long Branch on May 18, to honor her fireman brother who died while being on duty.
Tim McLoone, emcee, assisted by Penny Hinck and Scott Beaver, presented awards of sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and tote bags to the aforementioned winners and age-group and special-category leaders on the grounds of Strollo Lighthouse on Seaview Avenue. Raffle prizes were offered due to the generosity of the local business community. This event benefits Holiday Express, PBA Local 10, HABcore Inc., and the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County.