Matthew Bach of Jersey City, N.J., captured his second title in three years and Christina Ferencevych of Old Tappan, N.J., won the women’s division in the 24th annual George Wodicka Hook Mountain Half Marathon and 5K run, held Sunday, April 21 at Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain.
The race, sponsored by the Rockland Road Runners, set a record for the combined number of finishers, 682, topping last year’s mark of 662. The total includes 357 finishers in the half-marathon and 325 in the 5K. Race proceeds were donated to United Hospice of Rockland, which also held an accompanying 5K walk.
With the participants assembled at the starting line, a moment of silence was observed to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy on April 15.
Bach, 26, covered the 13.1-mile course in 1 hour 20 minutes 4 seconds, a pace of 6:07 per mile. That was well off his 2011 winning time of 1:16:11, but this year’s course followed a more difficult trail route on the rolling Hook path north to Haverstraw. In previous years the course traveled south along the flat Nyack Beach shoreline trail, but damage from Hurricane Sandy last October rendered that route unusable this year.
Bach won by almost a full 10 minutes over runner-up Brian Clark, 27, of Smithtown, N.Y., who ran 1:29:54. Ferencevych, 25, clocked 1:34:24, a 7:13 per-mile pace, to easily secure the women’s championship. She finished 11th overall.
Anthony Modafferi, 27, of Nyack, a former Clarkstown South standout, earned the Adi Steingraber award as top Rockland finisher, placing third in 1:30:12. Lauren Lundy, 32, of Bardonia was the top Rockland female finisher and third woman overall in 1:37:01.
In the 5K, Ian Clark, 27, of Tuckahoe ran the 3.1-mile flat loop course around Rockland Lake in 18:22, a pace of 5:56 per mile. Pat Driscoll, 33, of Suffern, a former Clarkstown North star and currently assistant track coach at Tappan Zee, was runner-up in 18:40. Cheryl Clark, 26, of Tuckahoe claimed the women’s crown and took sixth overall in 19:14. Julie McElroy, 46, of North Tarrytown finished second in 19:55.