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MISTY RAIN PROVIDES SLICK FINISH AND NEW COURSE RECORD AT 8th ANNUAL “BRENDAN’S HOME RUN”™ 5K ROAD RACE/WALK

Held Sunday, 21 June 2009 in Belmont, MA

Belmont, MA – A new course record was set once again at the Eighth Annual “Brendan’s Home Run”™, and the misty rain didn’t slow any of New England's top local speedsters. The highlight of the day was the slick finish by past champion Dan Vassallo, the accomplished runner from Wilmington MA, setting a new course record with a dazzlingly fast time of 15:07.9… a pace faster than a 5 minute mile for more than 3 miles!2009 Front Runners

Dan was past champion of the 2003 through 2007 races, breaking his own record on multiple occasions. Last year he once again broke his record but finished second behind newcomer Paul Ryan of Boston, who over the past year has been the reigning course champ. Dan was determined to regain his crown and did so in fine fashion, smashing last year’s record by some 17 seconds. Dan eclipsed the second and third place male runners, Nate Krah of Boston and Chris Stadler of Belmont, by 43 seconds and just under 3 minutes, respectively.  Vassallo truly owns the Brendan’s Home Run course and has established himself with legendary stature among the locals.

The times for all the 5K runners are available from www.CoolRunning.com. Another course record set in the male category was by race veteran Michael Collins at 78 years old with a time of 32:03, showing us all how to think young and stay young. 2009 Runners and WalkersOverall, the fastest male finishers in the 2009 5K race were:
1) Dan Vassallo, Wilmington 15:07.9 (course record)
2) Nate Krah, Boston 15:51
3) Chris Stadler, Belmont 18:03
4) Paul Green, Belmont 18:12
5) Tim Deignan, Belmont 18:29

The damp, cool conditions also provided an incentive to the top female runners to finish the race in rapid fashion. Winner Heidi Nadeau of North Hampton, NH clocked in at 20:25; Karin Lehr of Belmont finished second at 20:48; and, Anya Price of Natick came in third with a time of 21:01. The course record for female finishers set last year by Lara Johnson at 18:16 remains intact. The fastest 2009 female finishers were:2009 Runners and Walkers
1) Heidi Nadeau, North Hampton NH 20:25
2) Karin Lehr, Belmont 20:48
3) Anya Price, Natick 21:01
4) Carol Chaoui, Wellesley 21:17
5) Cate Brams, Belmont 21:55

While these top-notch runners were busy burning up the 3.1 miles, the spotlight fell on the kids’ races on the oval at the Belmont High School track. Races for 6-8 year olds (one lap of the track) and 9-12 year olds (two laps) attracted all the best Cheering on the runners!young racers in the area, with this year’s winners all from Belmont. For many this event is the highlight of the day, with speedy youngsters racing around the track to the classic music of "Charge of the Light Brigade" and finishing before the fastest 5K adult runners return.

In the 6-8 year old category (400 M), the top three finishers for the boys were Ben Walker, Izak Murphy, and James Eysenbach. Leading the category for the girls were Sophie Butte, Madeline Kitch, and Shey Branz. In the 9-12 year old group (800 M), Robert Montanaro led the race from wire-to-wire, besting Alex Berets and Caye Tittman. Top finishers for the 9-12 girls were Leah Branz, Grace Eysenbach and Kayla Kaloostian. While these were the fastest runners, all of the children who participate are awarded a ribbon and each wears a race bib with the number “1”, Brendan Grant’s uniform number on the Belmont High School varsity baseball team.2009 Champion Dan Vassallo

The Brendan Grant Foundation is dedicated to enhancing youth development but also fosters positive parent-child relationships. For that reason, the Home Run always acknowledges the fastest parent-child tandems for the day. For some Father’s, there is no better way to spend Fathers Day. This year’s winners were Michael Griffin Sr. and Michael Griffin Jr. of Belmont with a combined time of 42:16. The following were the top finishers for the parent-child teams:
In the Winners Circle1) Michael Griffin Sr and Michael Griffin Jr of Belmont at 42:16
2) Michael and Anya Price of Natick at 43:18
3) Jay and Malcolm Perkins of Belmont at 43:50
4) John and Chris Stadler, Belmont 44:19
5) Dave and Cate Brams, Belmont 44:48

Another very important group of participants are the Little Leaguers who notched some very impressive finishing times this year. The Youth Baseball Programs have been a welcome beneficiary of the funds raised by The Brendan Grant Foundation, and traditionally they have always been a strong supporter with many participants. While many youngsters of Little League age walk together as a team, some choose to run the 5K race. Several of these running protégés finish before most of the adults, and clearly show their great potential as future top running athletes. This year’s crown for fastest participating Little Leaguer was clinched by Ari Silverfine at 21:28, a very impressive time for a 12 year old. The top three Little Leaguers, all from Belmont, were:Enjoying the Event
1) Ari Silverfine at 21:28
2) Eric Butte at 22:37
3) Sami Belkadi at 25:18

Brendan's Home Run traverses an officially measured and certified course in accordance with the requirements of the USA Track & Field Road Running Technical Council (Certification Code: MA03028RN©). The accredited 5K course is primarily flat, features Dedicated Volunteers Make a Great Eventplenty of shade, and allows the best runners to capture excellent times. The race starts and ends at the Belmont High School Track, and the course loops out through the Winn Brook neighborhood and back upon itself. This means that halfway into the walk, the fastest runners begin passing the walkers, while the slower runners ultimately finish at about the same time as the walkers.

As has been the case in past years, hundreds of walkers departed on the 5K course at 9:30 am with a half hour head-start before the runners. As many of them will tell you, they are out on the course when the runners pass them and really have the best seat in the house to watch the 5K race. This year the weather forecast was for heavy rain Dedicated Volunteers Make a Great Eventwhich never materialized and may have kept some walkers from attending, but fortunately the rain never came except as an off-and-on heavy mist. Information about last year's successful race/walk is available by clicking here.

Brendan’s Home Run would not be the well-oiled event it has evolved into over the past eight years without the dedicated corps of volunteers who do everything from setting up tents, to registering entrants, to slicing watermelons. This small army of volunteers takes care of hundreds of details that result in the efficient execution of top notch road race in a very short time frame. Rain or shine, they are undeterred from the mission of making the event the best it can be.

Smiles all around!Of course, Brendan’s Home Run also owes much of its success to the support of its sponsors, led by Presenting Sponsors Belmont Savings Bank and Belmont Dental Group, and also including Contributing Sponsors Belmont Lions Club, Belmont Wheelworks, Champions Sporting Goods, and Mt. Auburn Hospital. Their contributions help the event maximize the funds it raises for the various initiatives of The Brendan Grant Foundation and its associated scholarship program.

A sweeping range of individuals and organizations helped make this year’s race/walk the great success that it was. In addition to the afore-mentioned sponsors, significant in-kind donations were also provided by: General Mills (Yoplait), Conley's Pub and Grille, and others. Numerous outstanding raffle prizes were awarded including lots of tickets to the Boston Red Sox, and a special tip-of-the-hat goes to all who donated these prizes and helped make it a special Father’s Day for all the raffle prize winners.Wearing the Badge of Heritage

Another reason the event went smoothly was because of the dependable support provided by the staff of the Belmont Department of Public Works, as well as important traffic control from the Belmont Police Department and the standby assistance of the Belmont Fire Department. The individuals that directly helped make the day a success number close to 100 people, and they are too many to mention by name here. We are deeply appreciative for their important volunteer efforts. A special salute is extended to the young people of the community who directly assisted, such as members of the following BHS sports teams: Baseball, Football, Softball and Wrestling teams.
Extra Smiles All Around
Brendan's Home Run is a cornerstone of development efforts on behalf of The Brendan Grant Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to enhancing youth development, and carries out its mission through clinics, mentoring programs, field/facility enhancements, and scholarships given annually to two graduating high school seniors. The foundation, and its various events such as the 5K race/walk, honors the memory of Brendan Grant, the 19-year-old Belmont baseball player who was fatally injured in an outfield collision during a Senior Babe Ruth game in June 2001. Brendan was a three-season athlete in the BHS Class of 2000, where he was the captain of the wrestling and baseball teams. In 2001, he was the starting third baseman during his freshman year for American International College.

Perhaps the most visible foundation project is the rebuilding of the Belmont High School varsity baseball field where Brendan played his last game. Also of note are the annual scholarships that provide financial assistance to qualified seniors from Belmont High School who will be attending an institution of higher learning after graduation. The scholarship is awarded to a senior member of the varsity baseball, softball and wrestling teams’ that demonstrates the same positive spirit and leadership skills - both on the field and in the community - for which Brendan was known. Those who cannot participate in Brendan's Home Run but wish to contribute to The Brendan Grant Foundation may send donations to P.O. Box 184, Belmont, MA 02478.

Whether you were a runner, walker, volunteer, contributor, or a supporter in spirit but unable to attend, it was another great event with lots of fun for a worthy cause. We're already excited for next year and hope to see you on Father’s Day 2010!