Runners start the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 39th annual 5K Run/Walk on May 20. Photo: Tracy Buchholz

Mark Burgmann, Liz Coda, Megan Feehan, Cozen O’Connor and the ACC Greater Philadelphia team were the big winners at the 39th annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Charity Run held on May 20 at Memorial Hall.

Burgmann, an assistant district attorney at the Philadelphia office, finished first overall in a time of 16:44. He was also the winner of the bar association competition. Liz Coda, who ran with Students Run Philly Style, was the first female overall and Megan Feehan of Cozen O’Connor was the first female member of the bar association. In the team competitions, both Cozen O’Connor and ACC had perfect scores to win the legal and corporate team competitions, respectively.

The race, which benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates, was blessed by a break in the rain Sunday morning and the runners promptly galloped through a muggy 70-degree start. Both Burgmann and Coda went right to the front within a quarter-of-a-mile of the start and continued on to victory as overall male and female champions. Feehan similarly went into the lead among females in the bar association competition and second overall among females and continued to lead bar members throughout the race. Burgmann finished in a time of 16:44, Coda in a time of 20:38 and Feehan in a time of 20:48. Other bar association members did extremely well in the open competition. Eileen Somers finished second to Feehan among women 30-34; Francis O’Neill finished first among males 35-39 in the open competition; Christina Riggs finished first among females 35-39; Kevin Dunleavy finished first among males 40-44; Kenneth Kapner finished first among males 55-59; Judge Abbe Fletman finished in an excellent time of 34:19 for first in her bar association age group. Elliott Feldman and Joseph Sullivan finished first and second, respectively, among males 60-64; Steve Sawyer finished first among males 65-69; Roberta Jacobs-Meadway, who won the bar association competition for females 65-69, finished second in the open competition in her age group.

The competition attracted close to 1,500 registrants with 1,050 competing and finishing. The rain the night before the race took its toll on the number of runners showing up on race day. In the legal team competition, sponsored by Caesar Rivise, Cozen O’Connor finished first with a perfect score of 3. Tying for second place were Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney (the sponsor of the free 200-yard noncompetitive kids dash for children 10 and under) and Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr with a score of 5. Rounding out the top five were Drinker Biddle & Reath with a score of 7 and Semanoff Ormsby Greenberg & Torchia with a score of 9.

In the corporate team competition, ACC Greater Philadelphia came in first place with a perfect score of 3 and tying for second place were ACC Greater Philadelphia and Firstrust Bank, a justice-level sponsor, each with a score of 7.

Students Run Philly Style was also a beneficiary of the race. More than 500 Students Run Philly Style kids competed as guests. The following sponsors helped raise much-needed funds for the Support Center for Child Advocates: The Philadelphia Bar Association was joined by justice-level sponsors Firstrust Bank, Buchanan Ingersoll and Caesar Rivise and corporate-level sponsors Philadelphia Runner, Veritext, USI Affinity, The Legal and Wawa Inc.

In addition, the following law firms supported the race as legal sponsors: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Anapol Weiss; Cozen O’Connor; Dechert; DLA Piper; Drinker Biddle; Fox Rothschild; Offit Kurman; Pepper Hamilton; and Stevens & Lee/Griffin. Lundy Law Foundation and Reilly, McDevitt & Henrich were legal supporters.

The Philadelphia Bar Association community of both individuals and law firms supported the race by providing 35 legal teams to participate in the Caesar Rivise Legal Team Competition. The volunteers were provided not only by the Support Center for Child Advocates, but also by volunteers from the legal community who worked the day of the race, ably directed by co-director Eric Marzluf of Caesar Rivise, Cate Galbally and Frank Cervone of the Support Center for Child Advocates. A special thank you to Thomas Bell for his 39 years of support; Marc Tepper of Buchanan Ingersoll who organized and directed the kids dash; Magdalena Lozada, who organized the legal and corporate team competitions; and Joe Stapleton of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, who organized the water tables on the course.

Finally, thanks to each of the members of the Bar Association Charity Run Committee without whose organization, time and effort, the race could not run each year.

It should be noted that based upon the smiles of the participants and volunteers after the race, it is clear that the muggy and warm weather for participants did not diminish their spirits or enjoyment of the race. The snacks and refreshments were also helpful and much appreciated.

Manny D. Pokotilow is a co-director of the race and senior counsel with the intellectual property firm of Caesar Rivise.