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Running for Independence

It has become a Fourth of July tradition.

Runners from near and far gather in Montrose on Independence Day to take on the rolling Susquehanna County hills.

On Monday, a total of 384 runners finished either the 5K or 10K runs, sponsored by the combined Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs of Montrose.

Under clear blue skies and almost ideal early morning temperatures, the runners certainly had better conditions than a year ago when they raced in oppressive heat.

“It was perfect running conditions,” said Brian Busby, who was the overall winner of the 5K race.

The New Paltz, NY, runner, held off a pair of Northeast Bradford High School runners to pick up the victory.

Busby’s time of 16:37 was seven seconds better than runner-up Kent Upham, who finished in 16:44.

Curt Jewett was third overall with a time of 17:08.

Busby’s story is typical of the diverse Montrose field of runners.

His family has a lakeside cabin in the area and he been a regular in the race.

“We’re nearby and we do it every year,” he said.

Abbie Elliott led the female contingent in the 5K, crossing the line in 20:30. The Binghamton resident, who has competed in the event before, was pleased to shave nearly two minutes off her previous best time.

“I think my best was 22:13 a couple years ago,” she said.

She agreed with Busby about the conditions for the 5K, which started 10 minutes before the 10K.

“The conditions were great,” she said. “It was the perfect day for a run.”

Yvonne McKeon was second among the women with a time of 20:43, followed by Jennifer Butts in 21:01.

A total of 267 runners and walkers completed the 5K.

As the final 5K runners straggled home up the hill on Public Avenue to the finish in front of the Susquehanna County Courthouse, the first runners in the 10K run began to cross the line.

Tom Daniels of Tunkhannock, who recently graduated from Gettysburg University, cruised to victory in a time of 36:16, outdistancing Northeast Bradford cross country and track coach Mike Murphy.

Murphy crossed the line in 38:50.

Mike Robbs was third in 38:56.

Daniels, who was competing for the National Running Center, last ran at Montrose in 2008.

“I thought I’d come up and give it another try,” he said.

Despite the hilly nature of the course, Daniels is a fan of the layout.

“I like the course a lot,” he said.

“The railroad bed is very nice. I like going through there. It’s nice and cool.”

Sarah Krizan, a June graduate of Chenango Forks, NY, where she is the school record holder, finished first among women in the 10K with a time of 45:02.

Krizan, who will enter the University of Rhode Island this fall, ran at Montrose last year and wanted another shot at the course.

Like Daniels, she appreciated the challenging nature of the course.

“It is pretty hilly, but I like hills,” she said. “It’s tough, but I do well on these type of courses.”

Taylor Ross finished second in the women’s race with a time of 47:13, followed by Cristin Bernhardt in 49:43.

A total of 117 runners finished the 10K.

The female age-group winners in the 5K, with times, were: 13-under: Keri Jones, 23:56; 14-19: Allison Bonin, 21:26; 20-29: Ellen Squier, 20:29; 30-39: Erin Taylor-Talcott, 21:10; 40-49: Laura Traeger, 24:13; 50-59: Susan Faragasso, 27:02, and 60-over: Debbie Grassi, 29:15.

Results for the 5K men’s age-groups are as follows: 13-under: Hunter Bedell, 19:48; 14-19: Jake Hinkley, 18:15: 20-29: Timothy Liddell, 19:27; 30-39: Thomas Vance, 18:22; 40-49: Jim Griffiths, 19:39; 50-59: Lee Anderson, 19:20, and 60-over: Scott Crouse, 25:20.

In the 10K race, the female age-group winners were: 14-19: Allison Hall, 50:46; 20-29: Naomi Warner, 58:22; 30-39: Kori Wood, 53:05; 40-49: Linda Ross, 50:28, and 50-59: Diana Bean, 55:52.

For the 10K men’s age-groups, the winners were: 14-19: Eric Mallery, 41:52; 20-29: Daniel Young, 41:51; 30-39: Matthew Nebzydoski, 42:45; 40-49: Kenny Quigley, 40:49; 50-59: Doug Stoner, 42:56, and 60-over: Len Sowinski, 50:05.

The 10K field, which included 117 finishers, begins the long trek on July 4 in Montrose.The 10K field, which included 117 finishers, begins the long trek on July 4 in Montrose.

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