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White Plains Hosts Medical Center Running Festival

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - More than 1,000 runners filled the Bronx River Parkway roadway through White Plains Sunday for the Eighth Annual Westchester Medical Center Running Festival that started and finished in the shadow of the County Center.

"This was my second time running a 10-kilometer (6.6 miles) race," said Carolina Silva, a Scarsdale resident, native of Brazil and former volleyball player. "A friend told me I should run to stay in shape and I am getting better and better. I really enjoyed this race."

Runners from all over Westchester County and the New York City area ran either the quarter- or half-marathon on a perfect cool and cloudy fall morning for runners as the threatening rain held off until the races were over when it began to drizzle.

White Plains attorney Chris Brennan, who took up running two years ago after being inspired to get back into shape while on a trip to Rome, led all quarter marathoners with a time of 41 minutes, 39 seconds.

"I played college soccer at Villanova, but was never a runner," said the 46-year-old Brennan. "When I was in Rome I saw so many people who were living healthy lifestyles and it motivated me to try running. I am always surprised when I find myself out ahead of runners in these races."

Pelham's Steven Schindler and Mike Simon of White Plains, both fitness trainers with New York Sports Club in Mamaroneck, were out on the quarter-marathon course together.

"Running these distances is about intestinal fortitude," Simon said. "It adds to any fitness training system because it pushes the body in so many ways."

Schindler, who ran the Running Festival last year, saw improvement in his time and placed second overall in the quarter marathon.

"I did about 43.50 last year and knocked off a minute or more down to 42.34, so I'm happy about that," Schindler said. "This is a great event, great people and organized really well. And the weather was perfect for running."

Scarsdale's Zachy's Wine and Spirits boasted the largest contingent of runners entered in the Running Festival as 40 employees, family and friends ran the race to raise funds to fight cancer for several groups.

"We have a great group of people out on the course running to support various organizations," Zachy's representative Barbara Strati said. "There are so many friends and family members who are involved in the fundraising and we have raised more than $35,000 so far."

Scarsdale High School cross country runner and tennis player Jacob Coburn ran an impressive third place finish in the 10K in his first time at the distance.

"I think it was a pretty good run," Coburn said. "I haven't run this long a distance before but I'd like to keep going and maybe do a marathon one day."

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