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Five-Mile Challenge a smashing success

The Alley Pond Striders’ Five-Mile Challenge, held under sunny skies on Sunday, April 28, was another smashing success. This annual event drew more than 350 runners, including 41 children, the largest turnout ever for the Children’s Fun Run.

The main event was dominated by a stunning performance by Jorge Elicce Real, 30, of Elmhurst, who took a long lead from the start.

Throughout the hilly course, Real distanced himself from the pack and broke the tape in 25:19:32. He was followed a full minute and a half later by Trevor Murray, last year’s winner, who crossed the finish line in 26:57. William Pedroza (27:02) and Tim Leinbach (27:07) finished third and fourth, respectively.

Susan Yang, 36, of Fresh Meadows, took the women’s first place trophy for the second year in a row. This time she posted a strong finish of 32:59:34, a full minute ahead of second-place finisher Theresa Juva (54:05) and two minutes before Jewel Wells, who took third place with a time of 36:04.

There were 326 finishers in all and trophies were presented to winners in five age groups from 14 to 75.

The Children’s Run drew a record 41 energetic kids, from 2 to 12 year olds, who were all warmly greeted at the finish line with medals, cookies and refreshments. One lucky fellow was thrilled to hear he won the jelly bean count by guessing 1,000. He took home all 1136 jelly beans.

Raffle prizes ranged from family memberships to the Alley Pond Environmental Center and to gift certificates to Quantum Feet and Modell’s Sporting Goods. Many pairs of socks and travel accessories were also distributed.

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