Long Island runners returned to Brady Park on June 25 for the 41st annual running of the Massapequa Firecracker 5 Kilometer Run hosted by the Massapequa Road Runners, and the second running of the event after a two-year COVID hiatus.
The overall male and female winners of the 5 Kilometer Run were Jonathan Schloth of Lynbrook and Elizabeth Caldwell of Glen Head, but runners from the local area dominated much of the rest of the list of award winners, led by Danny Kovler of North Massapequa, who was the second finisher overall in a time of 16 minutes, 49 seconds.
The Run was hosted by the Massapequa Road Runners, with veteran MRR runner Sam Buttigieg serving once again as the Race Director.
Massapequa Park Village Trustee Todd Svec started the runners on their way and welcomed them to the finish line. Terry Bisogno of North Massapequa, “the Voice of Long Island running,” was there to announce the Run at the start, the finish line and the awards ceremony. Joe Meyer and the elitefeats crew were there to handle the timing and scoring. Dozens of volunteers from the Massapequa Road Runners helped ensure all the details were managed well for the runners.
There were over 334 finishers in the 5 Kilometer Run, a big jump over the first post-COVID running of the event last year. An additional 30 young runners participated in the Kids 1/4 mile run that preceded the main event. Race Director Sam Buttigieg was ecstatic at the turnout.
“Last year we totaled only 252 runners combined in the 5K and the Kids Run, so we were greatly surprised and very, very happy about this year’s crowd.”
Part of the big crowd was the delegation from the Williams family. Roger Williams was one of the founders of the Massapequa Road Runners Club, and the Master’s Awards in this event are dedicated to his memory. He had six children, all still living in Massapequa and all running again this year to honor his memory. Many of Roger’s fifteen grandchildren also participated in this year’s Run, as well as some of his ten great-grandchildren.
As is traditional, the 5K Run started on Park Boulevard just north of the downtown Massapequa Park area. The runners headed north on Park before turning left to enter the Bethpage bike path and heading south on the bike path back to the finish line on Lake Shore Drive next to Brady Park.
Three of the first ten finishers in the 5K were from the Massapequas. Behind second place finisher Danny Kovler were Andrey Podskrebkin of Massapequa Park, 4th overall and first in the 15-19 age group, and Archie Chesler of Massapequa Park, 8th OA and second in the 15-19 age group. The first local woman to cross the finish line was 14-year-old Kiera McLaughlin of Massapequa Park, who scored as the ninth female overall and took second place honors in the 10-14 age group
Other locals winning awards included Astrea Leong of Massapequa Park (1st female 10 and under), Malina O’Connor of Massapequa Park (2nd female 10 and under), Chelsea Williams of Massapequa (3rd female 10 and under), James Carlino of Massapequa (1st 9 and under), AJ Karavis of Massapequa (2nd 9 and under), Keegan Dunphy of Massapequa Park (3rd 9 and under), Olivia Grassi of Farmingdale (3rd female 10-14), Connor Glennon of Massapequa (1st 10-14), Jack Carlino of Massapequa (2nd 10-14), Canden Tanacan of Farmingdale (3rd 10-14), Casey Mangan of Massapequa (1st female 15-19), Mackenzie Ferrara of Massapequa (2nd female 15-19), Charlotte Focarazzo of Massapequa Park (3rd female 15-19), Eamon Sheerin of Massapequa Park (3rd 25-29), Phillip Armato of Massapequa (2nd 30-34), Franklin Diaz of Farmingdale (1st 35-39), Anthony DiMartino of Massapequa (3rd 35-39), Kerry Pieper of Massapequa (3rd female 40-44), James Benjamin of Massapequa (3rd 40-44), Anne Carter of Massapequa Park (1st female 45-49), Chris Ganci of Massapequa Park (2nd 45-49), Ken Rodgers of Massapequa (3rd 45-49), Teresa Farrugia of Massapequa Park (2nd female 50-54), Florence Clarke of Massapequa (1st female 55-59), George Scognamiglio of Massapequa (1st 55-59), Glenn Morse of Massapequa Park (2nd 70-74), Norman Hershkowitz of North Massapequa (1st 80-84) and John Nace of Massapequa Park (3rd 80-84).