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Lynbrook residents shine in race to benefit Australia

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A man and woman from Lynbrook recently placed first and second, respectively, at the Nassau County Land Down Under 5K, which benefitted recovery efforts in the wake of Australia’s historic and catastrophic wildfires.

Jonathan Schloth, 23, crossed the finish line first among men at a little more than 16 minutes, or about five minutes and 11 seconds per mile. Jayne Paskoff, 53, placed second among the women competitors, coming in at just over 22 minutes, or seven minutes and four seconds per mile.

Eric Repp, 18, finished second among men at 17 minutes and 30 seconds, while John Schwab, of North Bellmore, finished third at 17 minutes and 35 seconds. Una Broderick, 53, of Wantagh, finished first among women at 20 minutes and 52 seconds, while Christina Bordonaro, 51, finished third at 23 minutes and three seconds.

More than 750 athletes from as far as Australia competed in the race on Jan. 25 at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford. The event raised $42,000, which went directly to the Victoria Country Fire Authority and the Rural Fire Authority. In addition, proceeds from T-shirt sales were directed to Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.

 “I was deeply saddened to hear of the unprecedented bushfires devastating Australia, killing an estimated 1.25 billion animals to date,” County Executive Laura Curran said, according to a release. “I want to thank the leaders of Long Island’s running community for racing to support the ongoing efforts of the brave men and women putting their lives on the line to combat this environmental crisis. I was proud to run alongside hundreds of passionate Nassau County residents and I applaud everyone for coming together for this cause.” 

   While Long Islanders united in this effort, race participants included Suzanne Hamilton, of Seattle, who ran the course in a little more than 37 minutes.

Australian natives and Merrick residents Bernadette Murray and her daughter, Julia, also took part in the race and in a news conference to urge participation and support. Jack Hanley, of Babylon, and Plainview resident Howard Kestenbaum, both older than 80 years old, completed the race. Helma Clavin, of Lake Ronkonkoma, and Carol Rivera, of Lindenhurst, both over 75, also crossed the finish line.

 Among the youngest runners, Robert, 13, finished first among boys 14 and under and Kaitlyn, 10, of Glen Head, finished first in the under 14 category for girls.

  For the event, EliteFeats built the registration platform and provided the equipment and staff. PR Timing provided the BIB’s, chips and staff. EventPower and RaceAwesome provided staff, course set up, logistics, equipment, music, post-race soup and more. Each company donated its time and service for free. There were no T-shirts or medals provided to runners to ensure every dollar went to the charities. 

The event was supported by county officials and its Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums, Ed Grenzig of Long Island Running Photos, the Greater Long Island Running Club, All Round Foods Bakery Products and the Bolla Charity Foundation.

  For a complete list of race times and photos, visit bit.ly/2HQ2U73.