The aptly named Chase Junell is the winner of Huntington’s Fastest Mile road race.
That’s because “chase” is just what nearly 100 other runners had to do during the Townwide Fund of Huntington’s annual road race on June 8.
Junell, 23, of Coram, set the pace in the shin splint-inducing, straight downhill run down New York Avenue, crossing the finish line at Elm Street at 4 minutes, 13.52 seconds.
Junell felt the heat with 24-year-old Shareef Jarvis close behind. Jarvis, of Huntington Station, took second place at 4:15.26. Fernando Sanchez of Deer Park, 16, placed third at 4:27.42.
The women’s field was led by Huntington’s Alyssa Salese. The 26-year-old winner of this year’s Long Island marathon, Salese crossed at 4:52.55 to place first among women and sixth overall.
In all, 102 runners and walkers were registered for the race.
“The weather was perfect, the crowd was excited and a good-sized group of energized fans and friends gathered at the finish line in front of Super Runners Shop to welcome them to the finish line,” Townwide Fund executive director Gloria Palacios said. “We raised a good sum of money and our runners got a great race, so really, everyone won.”
The Fastest Mile is the newest addition to the Townwide Fund’s road race family. The St. Patrick’s run in March is popular on the racing circuit and the Thanksgiving Day run in November — one of the Island’s most popular races – is a family tradition for many.
In addition to racers’ entry fees, funds are raised from business sponsors. Huntington’s Fastest Mile was sponsored by Borg Insurance Group, Sterling National Bank, Bottles and Cases, Brown and Altman, LLP, Empire Auto Group, Huntington Township Business Council, Six Harbors Brewing Company, Super Runners Shop, State Farm agent Renee Berges, Huntington Coach\ State Farm agent Steve Conte, Park Avenue Physical Therapy PC.
The Townwide Fund of Huntington was founded in 1961 by a group of private citizens to help local charities raise funds. The organization’s essential mission was to keep money raised in Huntington within the community. Fifty-eight years and $12 million later, The Townwide Fund continues to raise funds and award grants to give more than 30 local organizations the support they need to provide vital health and human services to the people of Huntington.