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NEW COURSE RECORDS AGAIN AT THE 2016 ďBRENDANíS HOME RUNĒô

Held Sunday, 19 June 2016 in Belmont, MA
(Story by Casey Grant, Belmont MA; Photos by Fred Field, Cumberland, ME)

2016 Brendan's Home RunBelmont, MA Ė "Brendan's Home RunôĒ 5K Road Race/Walk, a Fatherís Day tradition in Belmont, entered its fifteenth 2016 Brendan's Home Runseason with true excitement. New course records for both men and women were set as once again some of New England's fastest runners demonstrated their impressive athletic skills under near perfect weather conditions.

The 5K runners exceeded expectations with both the menís and womenís records being smashed. The three fastest men all broke the previous course record with Louis Serafini of Boston finishing at an amazing time of 14:32, followed closely by Brian Harvey of Boston at 14:34 and Liam Hillery of Providence RI at 14:35. The womenís course record likewise fell to New Zealander Laura Nagel now at Providence College with a time of 17:15, with Karen Roa of Boston finishing 2nd at 17:47 and Jessica Barton of Newton at 18:06. Weíre proud to have some of the top runners in New England competing in Brendanís Home Run.2016 Brendan's Home Run

Brendan's Home Run continues to attract top runners in the metro Boston area, and the organizers and participants salute all of these great athletes, and the legendary stature they enjoy among the Belmont faithful. The times for all the 5K runners are available from www.CoolRunning.com. This year, the top three male and female winners are grouped into the DerKazarian Circle of Champions, in honor of the late Alan DerKazarian whose idea it was provide prizes for these top athletes, and who family continues to be a Presenting Sponsor. Overall, the fastest finishers in the 2016 5K race in the male and female categories were:

2016 Brendan's Home Run1. Louis Serafini, Brighton MA, 14:32
2. Brian Harvey, Boston MA, 14:34
3. Liam Hillery, Providence RI, 14:35
4. Shane Quinn, Providence RI, 15:01
5. David Melly, Brighton MA, 15:07
6. Dan Vassallo, Peabody MA, 15:09

1. Laura Nagel, Providence RI, 17:15
2. Karen Roa, Boston MA, 17:47
3. Jessica Barton, Newton MA, 18:06
4. Katherine OíKeefe, Newton MA, 18:33
5. Katrina Vassallo, Peabody MA, 18:49
6. Flora Berklein, Belmont MA, 18:522016 Brendan's Home Run

In another great Home Run tradition, fastest parent/child tandem 5K times were clocked. Enhancing youth development and fostering positive parent-child relationships is a guiding principle of The Brendan Grant Foundation. On this basis, Brendan's Home Run always acknowledges the fastest parent-child tandems for the day. For some Fatherís, there is no better way to spend Fatherís Day. Awards are provided in this category, and the top finishers for the parent-child teams:

1. Barry & James Kitch (38:53 Belmont, MA
2. Myles & Seth Kirby (42:54) Belmont, MA
3. Michael & Jack Price (45:13) Natick, MA

2016 Brendan's Home RunWhile these top-notch runners were busy burning up the 3.1 miles, the spotlight fell on the kidsí races on the oval at the Belmont High School track. For many this event is the highlight of the day, with speedy youngsters racing around the2016 Brendan's Home Run track to the classic music of "Charge of the Light Brigade" and finishing before the fastest 5K adult runners return.

Every child received a ribbon for participating. The champions of the day for the 6-8 year old race were Sam Amaratunga and Daphne Grace, while the 9-12 year olds had Bobby Cooper and Margo Newman as the fastest on the track. While these were the fastest runners, all of the children who participate are awarded a ribbon and each wears a race bib with the number ď1Ē, Brendan Grantís uniform number retired by the Belmont High School varsity baseball team. Meanwhile, with similar salute, none of the 5K runners use bib #1.

Continuing the eventís legacy, awards were presented to the fastest runners in each of the 12 age and gender categories, and spirits were high among the crowd of almost five hundred runners. Hundreds more participated in the non-competitive walk, as well as the 400m youth races on the track for children ages 6-8 and 9-12. As a recap of the 5K race, the following are the top three winners in each gender and age bracket, each of whom were awarded a medal for their accomplishments (note: the top three male and female overall finishers are excluded from these lists):2016 Brendan's Home Run
2016 Brendan's Home Run
19 & Under Results - Women 5000 Run
1 Madeline Celi Kitch, 14, Belmont MA, 20:59
2 Clara Halston, 15, Belmont MA, 21:59
3 Camilla Carere, 15, Belmont MA, 23:21

20-29 Results - Women 5000 Run
1 Katherine OíKeefe, 23, Newton, MA, 18:33
2 Katrina Vassallo, 27, Peabody MA, 18:49
3 Flora Berklein, 23, Belmont MA, 18:52

30-39 Results - Women 5000 Run
1 Becca Pizzi, 36, Belmont MA, 21:06
2 Cindy Samaan, 32, Watertown MA, 21:48
3 Sarah Poplawski, 38, Belmont MA, 22:00
2016 Brendan's Home Run
40-49 Results - Women 5000 Run
1 Karin Lehr, 47, Belmont MA, 21:59
2 Christy Lawrence, 47, Belmont MA, 22:39
3 Maria Hegarty, 44, Somerville MA, 23:12
2016 Brendan's Home Run
50-59 Results - Women 5000 Run
1 Virginia Cox, 50, Littleton MA, 21:48
2 Mimi Englander, 55, Littleton MA, 24:21
3 Elizabeth Brown, 53, Belmont MA, 26:05

60 & Over Results - Women 5000 Run
1 Linda Jennings, 64, Tewksbury MA, 23:43
2 Cheryl Brown,61, Belmont MA, 34:42
3 Cathy Couture, 61, Belmont MA, 37:27

19 & Under Results - Men 5000 Run
1 Ari Silverfine, 19, Belmont MA, 16:502016 Brendan's Home Run
2 James Kitch, 16, Belmont MA, 17:12
3 Zack Tseng, 16, Belmont MA, 17:30

20-29 Results - Men 5000 Run
1 Shane Quinn, 23, Providence RI, 15:01
2016 Brendan's Home Run2 David Melly, 23, Brighton MA, 15:07
3 Kevin Cooper, 26, Providence RI, 16:05

30-39 Results - Men 5000 Run
1 Dan Vassallo, 31, Peabody MA, 15:09
2 Russell Leino, 33, Belmont, MA, 16:50
3 Joe Shaw, 35, Belmont MA, 16:55

40-49 Results - Men 5000 Run
1 Ryan McCalmon, 40, Belmont MA, 16:57
2 John McGuire, 44, Belmont MA, 19:39
3 Kyle Johnson, 45, Winchester MA, 19:48
2016 Brendan's Home Run
50-59 Results - Men 5000 Run
1 Tim Orcutt, 52, Arlington MA, 19:57
2 Dean Murphy, 54, Belmont MA, 21:00
3 Robin Dawson, 52, Waltham MA, 21:03

60 & Over Results - Men 5000 Run
1 Richard Campbell, 61, Newtonville MA, 20:33
2 Patrick McVeigh, 60, Waltham MA, 20:38
3 Dick Lehr, 62, Belmont MA, 22:31
2016 Brendan's Home Run
Some of the regular elite participants at Brendan's Home Run and their on-going accolades include the following:
  > Brian Harvey - representing the BAA Running Club; 2016 US Olympic Trials Qualifier
  > David Melly - representing the Heartbreak Hill Running Club; 2016 winner of the Super Sunday 5-Mile road race
  > Jessica Minty - from Concord, MA; 2012 US Olympic Trials Qualifier; 2-time winner of Brendanís Home Run
  > Laura Nagel - from Napier, New Zealand; Member of 2013 Providence College NCAA national championship XC team
  > Becca Pizzi - from Belmont; First American woman to complete the World Marathon Challenge (2016), 7 marathons, 7 days, 7 continents
  > Steph Reilly - from Providence, RI; Member of Irish Olympic team @ the 2012 London Summer Games; 2015 winner of Brendanís Home Run2016 Brendan's Home Run
  > Karen Roa - from Boston, MA; 2016 US Olympic Trials Qualifier; Previous course record holder of Brendanís Home Run
  > Louis Serafini - representing the Heartbreak Hill Running Club; 2016 US Olympic Trials Qualifier; USATF New England runner of the year
  > Christopher Stadler - from Boston, MA (and BHS graduate); 2-time NCAA Division III national champion in the 5,000m
  > Dan Vassallo - representing the Central Mass Striders; 2016 US Olympic Trials Qualifier; 2-time winner of the Philadelphia Marathon & 7-time champion of Brendanís Home Run
2016 Brendan's Home Run
Brendanís Home Run would not be the well-oiled event it has evolved into over the past fifteen years without the dedicated corps of volunteers who do everything from setting up tents, to registering entrants, to slicing watermelons. This small army of volunteers takes care of the many details that result in the efficient execution of top notch road race in a very short time frame. Rain or shine, they are undeterred from the mission of making the event the best it can be.

Of course, Brendanís Home Run also owes much of its success to the support of its sponsors, led by our Presenting SponsorsĖ Belmont Savings Bank, Belmont Dental Group, Fitness Together Belmont, and the DerKazarian Family, as well as the eventsí Contributing Sponsors Ė Champions Sporting Goods, Belmont Wheelworks, Heartbreak Hill Running Company, Moozyís Ice Cream, and Waltham YMCA.

A sweeping range of individuals and organizations helped make this yearís race/walk the great success that it was. In addition to the afore-mentioned sponsors, significant in-kind donations were also provided by: General Mills (Yoplait), WT Phelan Insurance, and multiple others. Numerous outstanding raffle prizes were awarded including lots of tickets to the Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, and other great Fatherís Day gift venues. A special tip-of-the-hat goes to all who donated these prizes and helped make it a special Fatherís Day for all the raffle prize winners.
2016 Brendan's Home Run
Another reason the event went smoothly was because of the dependable support provided by the staff of the Belmont Department of Public Works, as well as important traffic control from the Belmont Police Department and the standby assistance of the Belmont Fire Department. The individuals that directly helped make the day a success number close to 100 people, and they are too many to mention by name here. We are deeply appreciative for their important volunteer efforts. A special salute is extended to the young people of the community who directly assisted, such as members of the following BHS sports teams: Baseball, Softball and Wrestling teams.

Brendan's Home Run traverses an officially measured and certified course in accordance with the requirements of the USA Track & Field Road Running2016 Brendan's Home Run Technical Council (Certification Code: MA14012JK©). The accredited 5K course is primarily flat, features plenty of shade, and allows the best runners to capture excellent times. The race starts and ends at the Belmont High School Track, and the course loops out through the Winn Brook neighborhood and back upon itself. This means that halfway into the walk, the fastest runners begin passing the walkers, while the slower runners ultimately finish at about the same time as the walkers.

As has been the case in past years, the walkers departed on the 5K course at 9:30 am with a half hour head-start before the runners. This year the driving rain challenged the walkers, and it was inspiring to see the dedicated walkers who participated undeterred. As many of them will tell you, they are out on the course when the runners pass them and really have the best seat in the house to watch the 5K race. Information about last year's successful 2015 race/walk is available by clicking here.
2016 Brendan's Home Run
Brendan's Home Run is a cornerstone of development efforts on behalf of The Brendan Grant Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to enhancing youth development, and carries out its mission through clinics, mentoring programs, field/facility enhancements, and scholarships given annually to three graduating high school seniors. The foundation, and its various events such as the 5K race/walk, honors the memory of Brendan Grant, the 19-year-old Belmont baseball player who was fatally injured in an outfield collision during a Senior Babe Ruth game in June 2001. Brendan was a three-season athlete in the BHS Class of 2000, where he was the captain of the wrestling and baseball teams. In 2001, he was the starting third baseman during his freshman year for American International College.
2016 Brendan's Home Run
Perhaps the most visible foundation project is the rebuilding of the Belmont High School varsity baseball field where Brendan played his last game. Also of note are the annual scholarships that provide financial assistance to qualified seniors from Belmont High School who will be attending an institution of higher learning after graduation. The scholarship is awarded to a senior member of the varsity baseball, softball and wrestling teamsí that demonstrates the same positive spirit 2016 Brendan's Home Runand leadership skills - both on the field and in the community - for which Brendan was known. The Brendan Grant Foundation is proud to have provided scholarships to 37 previous recipients. Those who cannot participate in Brendan's Home Run but wish to contribute to The Brendan Grant Foundation may send donations to P.O. Box 184, Belmont, MA 02478.

Whether you were a runner, walker, volunteer, contributor, or a supporter in spirit but unable to attend, it was another great event with lots of fun for a worthy cause. We're already excited for next year and hope to see you on Fatherís Day 2017!

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