The 10K race – the largest in the tri-state area – benefits the Larc School, which serves individuals with moderate to severe disabilities throughout South Jersey. All proceeds from today’s race, estimated to be a record $400,000, go directly to the Larc School.
Alene Reta, 27, of New York City, captured first place in the 10K run, with a time of 30 minutes. Alemtsehay Misganaw, 29, of New York City, led the women’s division, coming in at 34 minutes and 42 seconds. These two runners led the way across the Ben Franklin Bridge to Philadelphia, then back toward the Camden waterfront where runners were treated to picturesque Delaware River sites, including the Adventure Aquarium, Susquehanna Bank Center, Battleship New Jersey and ending the race in Campbell’s Stadium.
In the male division, 8 seconds behind Reta, was Abraham Ng’etich, 28, of Mt. Vernon, NY. Second place finisher in the female division was Salome Kosgey of Sleepy Hollow, NY with a time 12 seconds behind Misganaw.
“Cooper University Hospital is a proud supporter of the Larc School and the remarkable difference they make in the lives of their students and families,” said George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of the Board at Cooper. “This school gives these children a better life, and a better foundation to succeed.”
“AmeriHealth New Jersey is proud to support this great event for the seventh consecutive year, and to be associated with the hundreds of volunteers and the thousands of runners and walkers willing to take on the bridge to help disabled students in our area,” said Judith L. Roman, president and CEO of AmeriHealth, the presenting sponsor. “AmeriHealth has seen first-hand the difference this event makes in the lives of the wonderful children and their families at the Larc School.”
Prior to the race, Governor Jon Corzine urged participants to, “Run the bridge, run for Larc!” Proceeds from this year’s race were expected to be at an all-time high because of the record-breaking number of participants and the strong support of the race’s corporate partners.
In an AmeriHealth-sponsored contest held in conjunction with this year’s race, John Wilson of Cherry Hill, NJ won first prize in the first “AmeriHealth Wellness Award,” given to the race participant with the most inspiring personal wellness story. Second place went to Mary Lockard of Plymouth Meeting, PA.
Meanwhile, winner of the first “How Cooper Changed My Life,” contest, sponsored by Cooper University Hospital, was Beth Fisher of Medford, NJ. Claudine Colgan, a Larc parent from Mantua, NJ, came in second place.
Beth Fisher’s story: “My son, Kyle, recently had a dirtbike accident and was admitted to Cooper Trauma Center- He is 13 years old. Fortunately for us, he had a mild concussion and a broken femur. I must say, the nurses and staff at Cooper were exceptional. They made me (as a Mother) feel very comfortable and confident that my son was receiving the best care with a smile and mild manner in all that they did. The PT staff was excellent in helping him get back on his foot and us his crutches. I was so pleased with all the care that was given to him and the generous, patient manner of everyone I came in contact there. While at Cooper, I saw the signs for the Bridge Run Challenge and thought, you know, after all this I could use something to train for and keep me running in a positive direction. So, I signed up and am ready to run!!! My only hope is that my son Kyle will be running with me this time next year, maybe even get a prize. Thank you, Cooper, for all you did for me and my family!!!”
Claudine Colgan’s story: “The person I am writing about is my mother, Patricia. She was in a catastrophic car accident in January, 1994. She had a serious brain injury and we were told she would never emerge from a coma. After being in the hospital and subsequently in a rehabilitation facility for eleven months in a comatose state, a neurosurgeon from Cooper University Hospital said that he could help my mother. He said he could install a shunt in her head to drain the fluid that was around her brain. No one ever suggested such a procedure to us before. We agreed to the surgery. Four weeks after the surgery which happened to be three weeks before Christmas, my mother spoke her first words in almost a year. It was the best Christmas present ever. Six months later, my mother came home. We had another eight wonderful years with her. We were all given a second chance. To this day, my family and I regard Cooper University Hospital as being one of the best hospital/trauma centers in our region.”
In addition, Janine Thomson of North White Plains, NY, won a $100 gift certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods from Cooper University Hospital for subscribing to the eHealth Connection newsletter.
Larc School, a non-profit organization located in Bellmawr, NJ, provides educational, therapeutic and recreational services to over 120 individuals with severe disabilities from pre-school to adult. For over 40 years, Larc School has provided service to its students and their families throughout South Jersey. To learn more about Larc School, go to www.larcschool.org.