Gary and Laurie Bop Boardwalk Breezes in Sgt. Pat's 5K

BY MAURY DEAN

LONG BRANCH, NJ--Thanks to Freddi Carlip's handy Runner's Gazette calendar, the prospect of a raceless April weekend was wonderfully washed away on the windswept Jersey Shore. Howling hurricanes halted to a manageable 10-14 mph SE breeze, as Olympic Trials hopeful Laurie Parton-Corbin, 31, dominated the 317-runner field; she finished 5th overall, just four ticks away from Arland Macasieb, who arrived late and had to skim through the crowd to almost get to the top. Equally tremendous was the overall win by 41-year-old Gary Wersinger, as he hammered out an 18-second breathing cushion beyond the ever-swift Broxmeyer Brothers, Joey (16:48) and Richie (17:10).

After a baker's dozen races getting battered on the Central Park hills and lashed by the mad March winds of Long Island, I gingerly dreamed of a truly flat course. Voila! My dreams came true. "Born to Run" on "Thunder Road," I ventured onto the Boss Bruce Springsteen's turf, the Freehold-Asbury Park-Long Branch Jersey Shore. Isn't it great to go to the opposite of the old Cheers pub (where everybody knows your name)? If you know no one at all, you're not expected to follow any pace or pattern, subtly pressured by peers or racing rivals. You're free to do your own thing. Trailing Laurie Parton-Corbin for half a mile, I watched her blonde tresses disappear into the hazy horizon. Mile split? Nil. Although a race official threw two top ten runners four seconds off pace by forgetting to tell them to cut right, no major glitches marred this fine race. The post-race yummies were great, the hospitality superb, and the awards unique (back-packs).

Sgt. Pat's 5K at Long Branch was a multi-aged victory. Dante Ciolfi of Parsippany was the Masters winner in 17:46, since Masters Gary Wersinger won the race overall. A tight battle ensued between young Dan Marcus, 17 and 17:57.5, young Scott Patterson, 22 and 17:58.3, and young me, 56 and 17:59.1. You see, I'd been dancing with the six-minute mile, but during the last two weeks of monster winds and hills, it kept stepping on my feet. An 18:13 in Baldwin, NY, three weeks before let me know I just might get back to the next level. Do you have a similar number that haunts you? Fifteen or 17 or 19 or 21 minutes or whatever for a 5K? I even lock my gym bag in a locker numbered "17" to luckily jinx my race (sadly, I gave up on Locker 16--it helps to have high hopes, but realism intrudes upon our Junior Senior Citizen shins and feet). Among other number-crunchers were number one 35-39 Linda Miller in 22:59; number one 45-49 Caroline Pond in 24:54; and winner 50-54 Panseluta Greer's excellent 23:59. In the approaching-middle age groups, 55-59 and 60-64, star efforts were showcased by speedy Marilyn Ryder (25:37) and Dolores Papirman in 28:30. Local star Gene Chase, now over sixty, hurdled the Twenty Monster with mercurial speed, as usual, in 19:30; without a puff of SE breeze on the south-to-north flat course, Gene might have nailed a 19:15 or so.

Laurie Parton-Corbin claimed the women's course record with her stunning 17:31--just a minute behind the overall victory regardless of gender (though a 17:20 was run on the old course years ago). Other Sgt. Pat's standouts? Yep--300 or so. Cameos? O.K.: George Thomas, 53, ran 19:29, to not only edge star Gene Chase but also the entire male 45-49 field, plus he was only nine seconds from vanquishing the 25-29 victor; Kathryn Tell glommed Masters gold with a nice 20:21. I was very happy for Linda Puzzo, whose 22:56 won Masters silver; seems she's had a couple of hard-luck fourth-out-of-three-prize races--the kind we all endure now and then. It's just great to see someone jumping up and down with joy at the Race Results Wall.

There is a joy to running that, thankfully, we do not grow out of. Kudos and cheers to Linda Puzzo, and all the other 316 victors at Sgt. Pat's Easter Saturday 5K. Spring is about joy. Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. Joy to you and me. Run amok.

MALE

Overall

1. Gary Wersinger 16:30
2. Joey Broxmeyer 16:48
3. Richie Broxmeyer 17:10.

14 and Under

1. Justin Murray 18:54
2. Tim Kwek 20:37
3. Sam Schandorf 20:59

15-19

1. Dan Marcus 17:58
2. Dana Ehret 19:13
3. Mark Ottaviani 19:57

20-24

1. Arland Macasieb 17:27
2. Scott Paterson 17:58
3. Rehman Jalil 18:06

25-29

1. Stephen Doyle 19:20
2. Mike Burke 20:35
3. Michael Logiudice 21:04

30-34

1. Jimmy Leslie 18:11
2. J. David Inglis 19:02
3. Chris Viton 19:26

35-39

1. David Wellner 18:27
2. Gerhard Dohne 18:45
3. Bruce Jones 19:12

40-44

1. Dante Ciolfi 17:46
2. Henry Mercer 18:17
3. Peter Englehart 19:20

45-49

1. Philip Tell 20:41
2. Bob Hayes 22:39
3. Ismael Diaz 22:40

50-54

1. George Thomas 19:29
2. Donald Baker 19:43
3. Alan Kochheiser 20:43

55-59

1. Maury Dean 17:59
2. Butch Pivano 20:16
3. John Pape 21:36

60-64

1. Gene Chase 19:30
2. Ralph Garfield 21:21
3. Bob Bekefi 24:22

65-69

1. Harry Papirman 23:02
2. Eugene Geer 25:03
3. Mike LoPrete 28:48

FEMALE

Overall

1. Laurie Parton-Corbin 17:31
2. Barbara Moldoch 18:32
3. Christine Woodward 19:09

14 and Under

1. Amanda Cavallo 24:19
2. Kim Lane 24:48
3. Tina Forgach 26:07

15-19

1. Amy McGovern 33:04

20-24

1. Jennifer Herring 21:18
2. Shannon Murphy 22:01
3. Jennifer Macom 22:02

25-29

1. Michelle Bruno 24:17
2. Karin Torchia 24:17.3
3. Tina Lin 24:25

30-34

1. Jan Sharkey 21:32
2. Kathleen Friel 23:56
3. Chris Stelmach 24:38

35-39

1. Linda Miller 22:59
2. Liz Scott 23:05
3. Susan Ardito 23:05.2

40-44

1. Kathryn Tell 20:21
2. Linda Puzzo 22:56
3. Lisa Lewis 23:46

45-49

1. Caroline Pond 24:54
2. Patti Carlesimo 29:43
3. Susan Langley 30:06

50-54

1. Panseluta Greer 23:59
2. M. Cathy McManus 29:09
3. Shirley Shook 30:18

55-59

1. Marilyn Ryder 25:37
2. Jean Spears 29:37
3. Eileen Murphy 31:20

60-64

1. Dolores Papirman 28:20