BEDFORD, N.Y. Who in his right mind would choose to get up at 7:30 on a chilly April morning to run a punishing road race on a course chock full of hills? Only a runner.
The course for the Bedford Hills Neighborhood Associations third annual Run for the Hills road race Saturday morning was a series of steep hills , from the Depot Plaza start to the finish line on Babbitt Road.
Peter Belmar of White Plains said his first time running the five-kilometer race was fun, but that second hill is like youre hitting a wall.
Association President Janet Jacobsen said 235 runners participated this year, including about 40 children who received special I Ran for the Hills pins at the finish.
Were catching our stride, because this is only our third year of doing the race, Jacobsen said.
I run the event so I dont have to be an actual runner in the event, Jacobsen joked.
The race is co-sponsored by the Bedford Recreation and Parks Department, local businesses and POW'R Against Tobacco, an anti-smoking coalition for Westchester and surrounding counties.
Jacobsen said that all age and skill levels come out for the race. We have first-timers, we have walkers, and then we have serious 5Kers, she said.
The top men's finisher was Garrett Armbruster, 24, of Bedford, 17:19.98, an impressive 5:35 pace. Pauline Dalceredo, 40, of Somers was the top women's finisher at 24:05.17, clocking in at a pace of 7:46.
Nine-year-old Avery Skolnick of Bedford Hills had the lowest time in the children's division, making a fine showing at 22.42.22, a 7:19 pace.
Sandra Broas Sirchia of Bedford has run the race for the past two years but sat out this year because she is pregnant.
This is one of the best runs. The last mile or so you feel like youre on a roller coaster, she said. When you run hills you appreciate the challenge, she said.
One runner received a special surprise at the finish line. Robert Pavletich, a Yorktown police officer, was waiting at the courses end to propose to his girlfriend of four years, Danielle Wegielski.
I had no idea, she said, smiling broadly and displaying her ring to the crowd of runners.
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