The 3rd Annual 5K Run for Lupus was a fun and successful day for all. The race is quickly blossoming into another well attended fundraiser for the LALIQ. Second to the Walk-Along for Lupus held every October for 23 years located at Eisenhower Park, Field #6.
May 7th, runners and volunteers alike woke up early and arrived at Central Islip High School with smiles on their faces ready for the day. Presenting Sponsor, Universal Testing; Front Runner Sponsor`s, In Honor of Mary Geraghty and Bethpage Federal Credit Union, and Pace Setter Sponsors, Team Valerie and PRI, generously supported the event and representatives of each attended the race and joined in the fun.
The crowd warmed up in their Run for Lupus T-Shirts and enjoyed the fantastic gifts in their goody bags donated by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, RoseBud, Hurraw, LA Fresh, Dr. Bronner`s, Fusco, Brandenstein and Rada, and Act 1 Entertainment.
The camaraderie was evident as runners from around the community including students from Central Islip High School and several local elementary schools greeted each other at the starting line ready to engage in some fun competition for a good cause. The 200+ runners took off for their 3.1 mile run at 8:30am through the residential streets of Central Islip. The runners were cheered on by residents, volunteers, and the Suffolk County police who kept the runners safe while on the course.
The success of the event in the past two years has built great word of mouth throughout the running community. Many runners were repeat attendees who brought new competitors to race alongside them this year. Volunteer, Michael Chapman from the Long Island Tomahawks volunteered as the lead bicyclist to assist runners as the race began. Local Union 25 helped out alongside long time LALIQ volunteers, by assisting runners on the course with directions, cheering and water. Volunteer students from Central Islip High School handed out water and food donated by Uneeda Bagel, Whole Foods, Panera Bread, Kind Bars, and Stop and Shop. Media Sponsor, WBAB was there to get everyone ready at the starting line as well as welcoming the runners as they crossed the finish line.
Patrick Geraghty, President of the Lupus Alliance of LIQ and Run Sponsor stated, “It was a pleasure and a privilege to once again volunteer and participate in the 3rd annual 5K Run for Lupus and the Central Islip High School Health Fair. The organizing team did a superb job of managing the myriad of details that made running the race a pleasure again. I run every year to honor my wife Mary and for all who are effected by and involved with finding a cure for Lupus.”
Cynthia Monthie from the EOC of Suffolk County and Larry Phillips from Central Islip High School along with the Wellness Committee had the 7th Annual Health and Wellness Fair ready to go as the runners finished the race. Runners enjoyed the Health Fair as they awaited to hear the race results provided by Just Finish Inc. and to attend the award ceremony where winners received their well-earned medals from Committee Chair Ken Cox, Executive Director of the LALIQ, Patricia D`Accolti and Board Members, Steve Alberti and Patrick Geraghty.
This year`s overall winners of the event were, Justin Betancourt of Islandia, with a total time of 18:27.1 and Rebecca Reyes also of Islandia with a total time of 23:24.9. A list of all of the winners as well as pictures from the event can be seen on the LALIQ`s website at www.LupusLIQueens.org.
Committee Chair, Kenneth Cox, of Central Islip stated, “I would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this year’s run a success. Running has gotten me through everything that my wife Jeanine and I have been through since her diagnosis with Lupus over 26 years ago, and my hope is that this run will serve as an outlet and inspiration for others who might be searching for a way to deal with this illness.”
From the start of the day at registration to the very last award was given out everyone had a great time. The Lupus Alliance of LIQ thanks their sponsors, volunteers and the runners who come out year after year to participate in a fun event that helps fund the many supportive programs the LALIQ offers to those in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens.
If you have lupus and need help, please call the LALIQ at 516-783-3370 or visit their website at www.LupusLIQueens.org.