OLD GREENWICH, Conn. John Maas of Old Greenwich was the winner of the race and Sarah Endres of New Canaan was the female champion. But the real winner Sunday was the Susannah Chase Memorial Scholarship Fund.
When the Chase family began this running race in 1998 to raise money for the scholarship fund, many Chase family members and relatives took part. Many family members were among the 226 runners who participated again in Sunday's 14th annual Susannah's Run at Tod's Point to continue that mission.
"This is just reinvigorating," said Julie Chase, Susannah's mother. "Every year it gets better. This is such a wonderful event. It's great to be together with everybody, it's great to have our whole family here, it's great to see friends and it's great to see all the runners who come out for this. It's just a wonderful event."
The race honors Susannah Chase, a Greenwich High School graduate who was murdered in Colorado 14 years ago when she was a student at the University of Colorado. Diego Olmos Alcalde was sentenced in 2009 to life in prison for her murder.
The Chase family wanted to honor her memory and donate money to the Susannah Chase Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarship money to a graduating high school woman who exemplifies Susannah's attributes of sportsmanship, athleticism and a commitment to environmentalism. This event takes place on the weekend closest to Chase's birthday, and this year it was one day before what would have been her 37th birthday.
Maas took a comfortable lead early in the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race and steadily pulled away to win in 17:05. "I pretty much ran an even, steady pace. After a quarter mile, I had the lead and kept that pace," Maas said. "This is extra special because it's for such a great cause. It's a great park here, it's for a great cause and it's a fun course."
Rich Pace, a good friend of Susannah Chase's when they were children and in high school, was runner-up with an 18:40. Peter Kapp placed third in 18:44. Owen West (18:59) was fourth, Sebastian Oe (19:13.15) took fifth and Matthew Yardis (19:13.56) was just behind Oe.
Endres, 13, was the fastest female and ninth overall with a 19:41. Sharon Vos was the runner-up woman and 15th overall with a time of 20:19. Casey Chase, Susannah's 14-year-old niece from Wilton, was the third female and 21st overall with a 21:13. Casey was just behind her father. Stephen Chase, Susannah's brother, placed 20th in 19:58.
Stephen and Casey were two of the nine Chases who ran. The others included 10-year-old Stephen Chase (25:39), 11-year-old Delaney Chase (27:52), 10-year-old Matthew Chase (29:24), Douglas Chase (29:44), 8-year-old Piper Chase (32:23), Kelly Chase (32:35), and Kelsey Chase (33:30).
This was the 14th running of the 5K run and, for the first time ever, it was accompanied by a half-mile kids' race that included 50 youngsters. Thomas Steinman, 11, won that in 2:58 and was closely followed by runners-up Jack Waxman (2:59), Wesley Peisch (3:03), Meghan Lynch (3:07) and Alison Brea (3:13).
Susannah's Run was the eighth event in the Volvo of Stamford Greenwich Cup series of 10 events. The next event, the Beachfront Bushwhack, will take place at 10 a.m. Nov. 13 at Tod's Point. That includes a 5-mile cross country race and a Kids 1-mile race.
Complete results for Susannah's Run and registration information for the Beachfront Bushwhack may be obtained on the www.threadsandtreads.com website.
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