Fast Times At Labor Day 5K

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Winner Chris Croff of Montclair

When he gave his report about the Verona UNICO 5K fundraiser to the Verona Town Council on Tuesday night, Santi Condorelli joked that the speed of the first race 30 years ago left him plenty of time to amble across Verona Park from the starting line to the finish. No more: The winner of this year’s event, Chris Croff of Montclair, crossed the finish line in 15:36.80, a 5:01 pace. Second place belonged to Youssef Rochdi of Morris Plains, just seconds behind at 15:51.64 and third went to Ben Clarke of Morristown at 16:08.99.

Ellis Martin, the top Verona finisher, was 26th–not bad when you consider the field had 726 runners. The 15 year old had a time of 19:11.46. All of the top 10 Verona male racers (Martin, Fernando Padilla, Kevin Hunt, Matt Carroll, Andrew Smythe, Cham Degman, Will Waldron, Jim Cuddihy, Hector Montari and Tim O’Connor) crossed the finish line in less than 21:17.00.

Amanda Flores, also 15, was the top woman finisher from Verona, with a time of 23:21.19, a 7:31 pace. The other women in the top 10 Verona finishers were Anne Stusnick, Grace Boyle, Monica Cleary, Kamryn Smith, Kelsey Attamante, Christine Coad, Meghan Yeates, Jill Corrigan and Giuliana Frizzi.

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The 5K race, which is co-sponsored by the Essex Running Club, is a key source of funds for the scholarships that UNICO gives out every year. You can see all the results from this year’s race here.

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Photos courtesy Bonnie Sharkey

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