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River to Sea Recap–Tom Kelly

This year’s River to Sea would have been my 16th year of participating. Since the inaugural run back in 1995, I had only missed one year due to an illness in Year 3. When I first ran, there were only 7 teams entered as compared to this year, with 129 teams officially completing the course. In fact, our club is the only club that can boast of having at least one team entered in all 17 years, culminating this year with 4 teams participating. ERC has now had well over 100 club members partake in this uniquely New Jersey running experience.

I’d like to congratulate Phil Coffin and his Grumpy Grovers for their fine effort and keeping alive Doug Williams’ memory. A tip of the hat also to John Harvey and his 92 Miles for Pizza team for their courage in overcoming Fernando’s encounter with heat stroke, Fine efforts were also achieved by Ed Kelly’s Krell’s Orange Crush and Sue Palermo’s Fleet Feet Lady 13 teams.

As for the 3 Beauties and 4 Beasts team, a.k.a the 2 Beauties and 5 Beasts, I want to apologize for being the last captain to provide a recap. This year’s River 2 Sea was a surreal experience for me. As I lay in my hospital bed, hooked up to an IV, I never envisioned even being able to partake in this year’s event. Thanks to a hospital visit from Charlie Slaughter and his daughter, Stacey, we were able to replace this old man with Stacey’s 21-year-old college roommate, Jess Bunone, which allowed the team to compete with a full roster.Two days after being released from the hospital, I was elated to be able to rejoin the team as captain and driver and tickled pink to be getting up at 4 AM with my right hand gal, Martta. (Martta’s note: “I am never tickled pink to wake up at 4 AM but in this case, I will make an exception.”) In addition to returning R2C veterans Rob Gerin and Gary Peters, we were bolstered by “rookie” Craig Van Doren. During the Wild Card stage, I remarked to Martta how fortunate our team was to have not one, but two, of the original ERC members in Gary and Craig, competing with our team…in fact, Craig was our very first ERC president.I want to thank my wonderful wife, Martta, for her ongoing support and encouragement in not only this R2C but in all those in the past and helping me look forward to running again next year, in R2C 18. Thanks again to Charlie, Stacey, Rob, Gary, Craig and Jess for helping me be a part of this year’s effort.

Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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