MIDDLETOWN—The Run4Downtown race in Middletown on August 15 filled North Street with runners who were ready to move. Walkers and runners geared up to take on the 4-mile course in and through the downtown district of the city with determination and good cheer.
In near perfect conditions for a race with an overcast sky that brightened up as the race ended, an estimated thousand people celebrated the city in their own way. Many gathered near the finish line clapping and yelling encouragement for the final steps. Organizers Dave and Anna Madden clapped for every finisher as runners and walkers crossed the finish line.
Jerry Martarano and his wife Sarah Gueli ran as friendly competitors.
“We had a rivalry going for the whole two weeks, ever since we knew about the race,” Martarano said.
They expressed wholehearted support for revitalizing the downtown district, the purpose of the race.
“There’s so much down here that people don’t know about unless you come down and see it,” Gueli said, encouraging people to visit.
Volunteers helped the event run smoothly. Council member Joe Masi and other volunteers took in money for the Taste of the Town vendors who offered samples. “Look at how many pink shirts you see and they are all volunteers. This just shows how the community comes together,” Masi said.
The Middletown High School JV ROTC also helped out.
Overall winner, Hadout Mousaab, from Paterson, N.J., ran a blistering time of 19:04.06. Just .05 seconds off the winner was Harbert Okuti from New Paltz, with a time of 19.04.11. Winner of the women’s division, Liza Grudzinski from Newburgh was not far behind with a time of 24:03.73.
Walkers held their own. Barry Lewis of Woodbourne carried the day with a time of 48:43.
Tristan Santos, 8, of Middletown was running and finished in 32:30. James Dugan of Cornwall was not to be outdone by the younger runners. The 81-year-old crossed the finish line in 47:02 minutes.
The Maddens have held the run for the past ten years to benefit the city’s downtown historic district. This year’s proceeds will go toward the final payment on a $25,000 street clock to be constructed on King Street.
The run and walk are held every year on the third Saturday in August.
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