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Records Set at Sean’s Run presented by First Niagara

April 28, 2008 — Several new records were set at the largest ever Sean’s Run.

New course records in the 5K and Meghan'sMile, a record amount raised and given away to support youth programs and the most ever entrants are a few of the highlights of the 2008 Sean’s Run.

The 7th Annual event attracted 1,088 entrants –270 more people than the 818 entrants last year. “What a tremendous turnout – the event grows each year” is how Jeff French, General Chairman, described the 7th Annual Sean’s Run”.

The event is always conducted on the last Sunday in April in Memory of Sean Patrick French who was killed on January 1, 2002 as a passenger in an underage drunk driving car crash. Ian Moore, then 17, was also a passenger in the crash and he sustained paralyzing injuries.

“We chose this date because it falls in the middle of Prom Season and does not conflict with middle and high school events held on Saturday. They are our primary focus,” added Jeff French.

Based on the turnout in Chatham, it seems that the Committee has selected well.

The day started overcast with a threat of morning showers, but during the opening ceremony General Chairman Jeff French promised that the sun would shine before the 5K was over – and it did, and temperatures rose to the low 70’s – by far the best weather conditions for the event in the past 7 years.

First Niagara’s Eastern Region President, Thomas Amell, presented a $10,000 check to the Organzing Committee at the start of the event and stated that the Bank remains committed to sponsoring Sean’s Run again in 2009.

This year the Committee also prearranged “virtual” Sean’s Runs to take place in locations outside of Chatham.

“There are many friends and supporters of this event and other who wanted to be part of our memorial to Meghan Kraham who could not be on the starting line, but they wanted to be a part of Sean’s Run,” explained Jeff French. At the same time the starting gun was fired in Chatham, event registrants from Maine, Nevada, Florida and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil simultaneously ran/walked a distance of 5K in their home towns. “This worked so well that we plan to promote more virtual Sean’s Runs next year!” said Jeff French

This year the entire event was dedicated to Meghan Nicole Kraham, a friend of Sean’s, who as a high school sophomore in 2002 was a student originator of Sean’s Run. She served on the Organizing Committee until her untimely death last summer succumbing to a rare form of cancer at age 22.

“The only downside of today is that we miss Meghan’s beautiful smile,” noted Sean’s dad Mark French.

All participants wore Bib numbers printed with Meghan’s name and their event t-shirt were also emblazoned with her name along with what has become the Sean’s Run slogan “Feel the Spirit”

During the event the organizers conducted a raffle to benefit the Meghan Kraham Memorial Scholarship Fund and at the conclusion of the day presented a check for $2,150 to Meghan’s parents, John and Michele Kraham. Steve Neito of Ghent was the grand prize winner of the raffle.

“The spirit was perfect” according to Mark French. “This event is supported by generous sponsors and contributors, a huge turnout of smiling entrants, an outstanding Organizing Committee and lots of volunteers – with a line-up like that you the formula for an exceptionally well-produced event!”

The Run/Walk
Total Entrants: 1,088 - has become the largest run/walk in the upper Hudson Valley

Attracts participants mostly from Columbia County and Capital District, others coming from New York City, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Pennsylvania

Entrants include many families, children, teens as well as seniors.

Most Senior Woman registered – Rose McAuliff, Chatham, Age 83
Most Senior Man registered – Stanford Card, Claverack, age 84

The 5K Presented by FairPoint Communications
The course record was broke by the brother of the record holder. Mathew Forys, age 22 of Howell, New Jersey finished the 3.1 mile course in a time of 15:18 to shatter the old course record set previously by his younger brother, Craig Forys (15:56) who established the old mark at age 15 two years ago. The Forys brothers are Sean French’s cousins.

The Female Champion was Brina Seguine, 18, of Rensselaer, NY with a time of 18:18.

Sean’s Mile Presented by Newkirk Communications
Boy champion – Ross Wightman, 12, Chatham, NY – 6:03 – New Course Record
Girl champion – Ralyn Beaucage, 12 Valatie, NY – 6:53

The World Championship Battle of the Belts
presented by Rensselaer Honda
Conducted prior to the run/walk – designed to encourage teens to always buckle up. Teams from 18 schools and youth organizations from across capital district competed for the tilte of World Champions

WORLD CHAMPIONS - High School Division
Team – Mohonasen High School SADD, Schenectady County
Time – 32.44 seconds

WORLD CHAMPIONS – High School Division - Runner Up
Team – Stissing High School, Pine Plains, Dutchess County
Time – 33.94

WORLD CHAMPIONS – High School Division - 2nd Runner Up
Team – Taconic Hills High School SADD
Time: 35.44

WORLD CHAMPIONS - Jr. High School Division
Team – BSA Troop 42, Red Hook, Dutchess County
Time – 37.87

WORLD CHAMPIONS – Jr. High Division - Runner Up
Team – Amsterdam Lynch Literacy Academy
Time: 40.40

WORLD CHAMPIONS – Jr. High Division - 2nd Runner Up
Team – Hawthorne Valley Middle School, Columbia COunty
Time: 43.43

Special Awards

Best Team Name - Jr. High School Division
Team Name – Bomber’s Bucklers, Pine Plains Middle School

Best Team Name - High School Division
Team Name – Click-Its, Hoosick Falls High School

Loudest Cheering Section - Jr. High Division
Team - Berlin SADD

Loudest Cheering Section - High School Division
Team – Chatham High School

Best Team T-shirts – High School
Team – Guilderland High School

Best Team T-shirts – Jr. High School
Team – Chatham Middle School

The event also included a Tribute to Victims and Survivors of drunk driving and a Prevention Education Expo featuring exhibits by a variety of non-profit organizations providing services that help to steer young people towards healthy lifestyles.

One of the most popular exhibit was the Choices 301 drunk driving simulation golf cart. Using “drunk vision” goggles, which simulate the blurring of the vision caused by alcohol, teens attempted to drive the cart through a maze of traffic cones.

Also prior to the start of the event, the Committee to Produce Sean’s Run gave away proceeds from the 2007 in the form of grants to 18 schools and youth groups from across the area. Also, Scholarships were awarded to 10 seniors.





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