Early Sunday morning the roads of Geneseo were transformed into the largest race course in Livingston County. A record 656 individuals passed through downtown as part of the eighth annual Oak Tree Half Marathon and 5K presented by the Bank of Castile, Tompkins Insurance Agency, and Tompkins Financial.
The Oak Tree Race is a fundraiser for the Genesee Valley Conservancy (GVC), a not-for-profit conservation organization working to protect the habitat, farmland, and open space of the Genesee Valley region. The half marathon course features the beautiful landscapes of Nations Road, while the 5K tours the National Historic Landmark District of downtown Geneseo.
Runners from eleven states were joined by individuals from Australia and Canada to compete in this year’s race. There were many outstanding local performances this year. Results and photos from the event can be viewed on the GVC website (www.geneseevalleyconservancy.org/race).
In the half marathon, Ryan Lumb of Pittsford posted a 1:21:14 to capture this year’s crown. Female Christa Meyer, a Livonia native and current Fairport resident, took home the women’s title posting a 1:27:10.
For the second consecutive year and third time in race history, Bobby Henchen of Geneseo captured the 5k title. Bobby easily outpaced his competition, finishing in 16:01, almost 40 seconds ahead of the runner up. Bobby is undefeated in his three Oak Tree 5k races. “One of these days I’m going to move up to the half marathon, but in the meantime I’m committed to the Oak Tree 5K” said Henchen. Gabe Rodriguez, also of Geneseo, took third place.
Other notable finishers include Avon native and Boston legend Dave Coyne with an impressive 1:35:01 in the half marathon, finishing in 20th overall place and winning the 60-64 age group. Josh Williams, also of Avon, finished 10th overall in a time of 1:29:07 and was the first Livingston County finisher. Nationally competitive 5k runner Tom Dutton of Livonia put in an impressive 20:53 to win the 65-69 age group and finished 31st overall.
Race Director Benjamin Gajewski said of the event “the Oak Tree is an exciting, fun, and challenging event and 2012 was no exception. As the race grows, the continued success of the Oak Tree is due to the many individual volunteers and local business sponsors that contribute time and talent and I cannot thank them enough for each of their contributions.”
The Oak Tree is the kickoff to the Geneseo Trio, a run/walk series of fall races. The Trio is presented by GioVanna’s Pizza and Pasta. Next up is the Friday Knight 5K on the SUNY Geneseo campus on Friday September 21st. The Trio will conclude on Saturday morning, September 29th with the Ramon Rocha 5K.