The 32nd Annual Brookline Breeze
5K Fitness Run and Walk, along with the One Mile Mini-Breeze Fun Run and Dog Walk,
was held on Saturday, August 10, 2013. Over 800 runners and walkers came
to Brookline Park to participate in what has become an August tradition
in the Brookline community. With the temperature in the mid-70s, it was
a wonderful day for a morning run or a brisk walk through the heart
Planning for the 32nd
running began back in January. There was much apprehension with regards
to the Brookline Boulevard reconstruction project, which began a month
later. With assurances that there would be only minor inconveniences
and a lane restriction, it was decided to proceed with race preparations.
Online registration opened in April and the 2013 Breeze banner was first
seen along the boulevard during the Memorial Day Parade.
While the Breeze Week Car Cruise at
the Community Center contributed to the pre-race festivities on the eve of
the run, registrations rose to 625. Another strong race-day turnout
pushed that total above the 800 mark for the second year in a row. The
Brookline Breeze focuses on fitness and healthy lifestyles. These numbers
are an encouraging sign in the city-wide campaign to promote an
awareness of physical fitness for people of all ages.
Of the 814 entrants in this year's
Breeze, it is interesting to note that while the majority of participants
were from Brookline and nearby neighborhoods, there was also quite a few
runners and walkers that visited from afar. There were a total of 118 zip
codes represented on the registration list, and on a national level, there
were seventeen states and the District of Columbia (PA, IL, OH, MA, NM,
CA, MD, NY, TX, WV, HI, IN, CO, AZ, VA, FL and DC.)
The One-mile Mini-Breeze began
at 8:30am, followed shortly afterwards by the Dog Walk. Seven-year old A.J.
Aquino crossed the finish line first with a time of 7:20, followed by
six-year old Emma Woshner at 7:30. In third place was nine-year old
When the clock approached the start
of the 5K event at 9:00am, the Keystone Young Marines color guard presented
our National colors. The guard included Brennon Williams, Leonard Bowers,
Mason Bowers and Zachary McKay. Afterwards, the National Anthem was sung
by Kiersten Swanson.
There was also a short acknowledgement
of a very special ocassion. Present near the start line were Tim Keefer of Perrysville,
Colin Hackman from Wilmington, Delaware, and Riz Valles of the Pittsburgh EMS service.
At last year's Breeze, Tim suffered a heart attack near Whited Street, and
it was the quick actions of both Colin and Riz that saved his life. Tim has
made a full recovery and participated in this year's race with his
Now it was time to start the race.
Breeze co-founder Mike Radley fired the starter's pistol and the procession
of runners and walkers began their march up Brookline Boulevard.
Justin Weaver of Greensburg, PA, crossed
the finish line first, with a time of 16:14, to take the top spot. The female
winner was Lisa Lucas, of Upper St. Clair, who broke the ribbon at the 19:05
mark. The top local runners from the Brookline community were Devon Matthews
(19:03) and Carrie Chisholm (21:54).
The Brookline Breeze attracted 814 participants
this year. Over 700 participated in the 5K Run and Walk.
After the race, Brookline Park was alive
with activity. Live music was provided by Brookline's own "The Wurms," featuring
Jake and Mark Zucco, Jeff Fetterman and Joe Gordon. The four rockers wurmed
their way through a variety of classics while event-goers helped themselves
to refreshments at the park pavilion, including drinks, fruit, ice cream from
Scoops on the Boulevard, pizza from Antonio's Pizzeria and pretzels from Vinnie's
Pretzel Shoppe. The Citiparks Roving Art Cart was also present, treating the
kids to some cool crafts.
Of the 567 main event participants who
completed the 5K race, the senior runner was Toni Farah, 80, of Brookline,
and the youngest was Rosalia Varlotta, 4, of Wexford. Toni and Rosalia were
the recipients of the Fran Walsh Award, given annually to the oldest and
youngest 5K finishers.
In the Dollar Bank team competition, the
13-17 year old winner was Ring Gold (Noah Smith, Kirsten McMichael,
Jared Jimirro, Caleb Lunn and Janika Hutton). For the speedy teens from
Monongahela, this was their second year as team champs.
After the awards presentation was over
it was time to go home and enjoy a fine Saturday afternoon. It was a wonderful
and eventful day in the life.
Brookline Breeze 5K Race Results>
<Official Website - www.brooklinebreeze.com>
Click on images below
for larger photos
Photos From The Race
and Awards Presentation
The Community Center Breeze Week Car Cruise
kicked things off during packet pickup on Friday night.
For More Pictures from
The Brookline Breeze on Facebook
Justin Weaver and Lisa Lucas
2013 Brookline Breeze 5K Winners
The Breeze Race Directors Clint
Burton and Debbie Brust would like to thank the following sponsors, partners
and individuals who provided so much generous funding and effort towards
this year's Brookline Breeze.
Our Gold Level Breeze Sponsors: Dollar Bank, Allegheny Sports Medicine,
Citiparks, Highmark BC/BS, Moonlite Cafe, South Pittsburgh Development
Corporation, Antonio's Pizzeria, Pennsylvania American Water, The Brookline
Medicine Shoppe, Elite Runners and Walkers, FROGGY, Wise Snacks and
Our Brookline Breeze Sponsors: A-Boss Opticians, DeBor Funeral Home,
Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, State Senator Wayne Fontana, SPC Networks,
Brookline Chamber of Commerce, Hideaway Mini-Mart, Vinnie's Pretzel Shoppe,
Knights of Columbus #491, Howard Hanna - Tim Reitmeyer, Michael Poremski
Plumbing, Scoops on the Boulevard and Brookline Regional Catholic
We receive support from so many others: Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Parks Acting-Director
Louann Horan, Citiparks Special Events Staff and Asst. Director Tim Ishman,
Area Supervisor James Krashna, former-Director Mike Radley,
Mary Beth Mueller, Citiparks Warehouse, Citiparks
Audio/Visual Staff, Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Services, Department of Public
Works, Department of Environmental Services, Salvation Army, Brookline Recreation
Center Staff, Allegheny County Police, Allegheny County Special Deputies,
Emergency Police, Pittsburgh Police, Borough of Dormont Police, Keystone Young
Marines, Brookline Girl Scouts, Mark Courtney and Runner's High, Kira Foley and
Maureen Cunningham of the Brentwood Firecracker 5K, Joe Nicholas, Keith Matts,
Jon Donley, Mike Rieber, and logo designers Joseph and Douglas Brendel.
There are also the many dedicated volunteers who helped with the packet stuffing,
race registrations, refreshments, barricades, planning and so much more. The
Brookline Breeze 5K Fitness Run and Walk truly is a community effort, and one of
the reasons that Brookline is such a special place. Thanks again everyone!
* Photos provided by
Clint Burton, Linda Andrews and Doug Brendel *