Runners take off at the Philadelphia Bar Association 35th annual 5K Charity Run on May 18 at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park
Runners take off at the Philadelphia Bar Association 35th annual 5K Charity Run on May 18 at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park (Nanette Kardaszeski)

On May 18, the 35th Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Charity Run took place at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park. The race, which had been on Martin Luther King Drive for all but one of the past 34 years, switched venues this year to the delight and pleasure of the runners. It was a glorious day for running as the temperature was 55 degrees and the race, which benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates, also welcomed, at no charge, more than 500 children from Students Run Philly Style.

In addition, the Kids’ Dash for children 10 and under sponsored by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, under the organization of partner Marc Tepper, also delighted the children who competed.

Approximately 1,300 runners and walkers participated in the Charity 5K Run/Walk with 1,167 timed finishers and a substantial number of walkers that either did not cross the finish line, or finished after timing was closed. Michael Riccio, a paralegal for Community Legal Services who is presently a Haverford House Fellow, won the race in an impressive time of 16 minutes. First among the women was Meredith Unger of Wayne, Pa., an oncology researcher with Johnson & Johnson Co., who finished in a time of 18:38.

It should be noted that the order of finish in the following chart includes two times for the competitors. The time listed under the “Time” column is the elapsed time that is required to be used by USA Track & Field for determining the official time of the winner of a race. The time in the “Chip Time” column is the elapsed time from the runner going past the starting line, which we have use in accordance with the norm for races for determining the age group winners.

In the legal competition, for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Neill Clark of Faruqi & Faruqi, after winning 14 consecutive bar association competitions until he was required to nurse an injury and not compete last year, came roaring back to win his 15th title as champion of the Philadelphia Bar Association race. Clark, who is now 42, finished in a time of 18:03. First among women in the Philadelphia Bar Association was intellectual property attorney Dana Kolesar of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. The win was accomplished in spite of the fact that she gave birth to her daughter, Macy, in January of this year and had completed a 5K race the previous day in a time of 19:45. As the race started, a pack of runners shot out of the gate, including a large number of students who sprinted out with huge smiles on their faces. By the time the runners reached a quarter of a mile, two runners had emerged in first place, Ray Bordogna, 43, of Philadelphia and Riccio. Closely behind the two leaders were Colin Knisely, 42, of Duane Morris and Clark. They were closely followed by Stephen Luttrell, 35, of Post & Schell; John Hemmer, 33, of Morgan Lewis; and Nathaniel Moser, 22, a volunteer for Students Run Philly Style.

The runners at the front stayed in that order through the first half mile of the race and as the race continued toward the one-mile point, Riccio began to take a substantial lead over Bordogna, followed by the pack composed of Clark, Knisely, Luttrell, Hemmer and Moser. At one mile, Riccio had a commanding lead, followed by Clark in second place, Knisely in third, Bordogna in fourth, and Will McEnroe of Dechert in fifth place, Jonathan Margolis of the DELVACCA team in sixth place, Hemmer in seventh place and Christopher Carroll of the Morgan Lewis team running even with Hemmer. In a third group passing one mile was the first woman, Unger. Unger had a wide lead over second-place Jennifer Pierce, Kolesar in third place and Faye Hellman in fourth place. Among the first 50 runners at one mile was 10-year-old Oscar Weiler Gerber of Philadelphia. Oscar was running in a pack that included the fifth woman, Gretchen Holden of Philadelphia.

As the race continued, Riccio maintained a substantial lead and finished in a time of 16:00 with Bordogna passing Clark in the second half of the race and finishing second in a time of 17:58, almost two full minutes behind Riccio, followed by Clark with a time of 18:03 and Knisely in a time of 18:05. Erik Wiessman finished next followed by Hemmer.

Unger finished closely behind, finishing ninth overall. Kolesar in a very competitive time of 19:08 finished second among women and first in the bar association competition. Pierce finished third and Hellman fourth. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Daniel Anders was one of the many celebrities appearing at the race and brought with him Common Pleas Judges Donna Woelpper, Barbara McDermott, Sierra Thomas Street, Alice Dubow, Diana Anhalt, Sheila Woods-Skipper and Linda Carpenter, who were all participants in the race. Three former Philadelphia Bar Association chancellors, John Savoth, Jane Dalton and Alan Feldman, also competed in the race.

In team competition, Morgan Lewis repeated its win of last year with a score of 4 points, with Community Legal Services and Flaster Greenberg tying for second place. Tying for fourth place were Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow and Duane Morris.

In corporate team competition, the DELVACCA team finished with a perfect score of 3 with Stevens & Lee/Griffin finishing second and Firstrust Bank finishing third.

Once again, the race was supported by the Philadelphia Bar Association and was joined by the following corporate-level sponsors: Buchanan Ingersoll, Caesar Rivise, Firstrust Bank, Wawa, Philadelphia Runner, Iron Mountain, The Legal, Veritext and USI Affinity.

In addition, the legal sponsors for the 2014 Run/Walk included Anapol Schwartz; Baker & Hostetler; Blank Rome; Ciardi Ciardi & Astin; Clark Hill PLC; Cozen O’Connor; DLA Piper; Drinker Biddle & Reath; Fox Rothschild; Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin; Momjian Anderer; Morgan Lewis; Offit Kurman; Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel; Pepper Hamilton; RatnerPrestia; Raynes McCarty; Sandals & Associates; Stevens & Lee; and Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy. Joining this year as legal supporters were Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson and Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney.

In addition to the revenue raised by the team competitions, a most substantial contribution was received from the volunteers who worked tirelessly from 5:30 a.m. through the end of the race to make the event a success, which was topped off with refreshments donated by Wawa, Firstrust and the sponsors of the race.

A debt of gratitude is also owed to co-director Eric Marzluf, who along with Tom Bell have been co-directors with me for the past 35 years. Another debt of gratitude is owed to each of those members of the race committee who contributed so much, namely: Tepper; Frank Cervone, Moira Mulroney and Cate Galbally from the Support Center for Child Advocates; Michael Berkowitz of Caesar Rivise, who oversaw the team competition; Mike McCloskey of Runners’ Advocate; Bryan Mahon from the Philadelphia Runner; Tim Krueger from Run the Day; Wendi Platt and Amber Adamson of Students Run Philly Style; and newcomer Peter DeCarolis. Finally, a special note of gratitude to my secretary, Magdalena Lozada, without whose help I could not have enjoyed doing this for the last 23 years. •

For more photos and the complete bar race results, click here.