By Patty Booth O’Neill
The weather was perfect for a fun run, walk, stroll or a horse race on Sunday for the 12th Annual Kortney’s Challenge at Monmouth Park Race Track. A crowd of almost 500 showed up to traverse the two-mile course that wound through Oceanport beginning and ending at Monmouth Park. After the race many attended a Day at the Races, where Jockeys wore pink for the special Kortney Rose race.
There were plenty of activities for kids – tattoos, balloon animals, Italian ice from the Lighthouse and Rook coffee. A $500 50/50 was won by Jill, matched by Paulene and Scott Poyner as a donation to the Kortney Rose Foundation for research efforts through the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium, research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and research at Hackensack Meridian’s Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital.
The top three finishers in each division received awards.
Men’s Master: third place, Rosendo Meza-Soriano, (209) 14:13.3, second, Charlie Horse, (371) 13:33.6, and third place, Charlie Hartman (136) 13:17.4.
Women’s Master: third place Mary Kinch (Bib 155) 15:08.3, second place, Susan Torchia (340) 15:03.5 and first place Tara Barnett, (457) 14:12.2.
Females 13 -29: third place, Gillian Thorp (327) 14:28.8, second Krissy Birdsall, (458) 14:23.4 and first place, Caroline Meany, (203) 13:55.8.
Male, 13 -29: third place Conor Lunny (Bib 176) 11:36, second place, Crispin D.Augusta (61) 10:42.7 and first place Brendan Kirshner, (157) 10:29.5
Boys, 12 & under: third place, Justin Monchinski, (221) 14:22.9, second, Zachary Jersey, (144) 13:41.3, and third place, Liam Barnett, (464) 13:27.9.
Girls, 12 & under: third place, Ava Morgan, (481) 15:07, second, Kassidy Torchia, (339) 15:19.5. Not shown in photo is first place winner Kate Desousa, (73) 12:41.4.
After Kortney passed away in 2006 from a brain tumor at the age of nine, her parents Kristian and Richard Gillette organized the event as a way to deal with their grief. Their first donation was “Kortney’s Playground” at Wolf Hill School Elementary School where she was a student. Since then the KRF has made a donation of over $2,000,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.