The 11th annual Linda Yalem Memorial Race, held in honor of a UB student raped and murdered on the Ellicott bike path, took place Sunday at 10 a.m., beginning and ending at Alumni Arena.
The race began with a moment of silence for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks, deaths equally as senseless as Yalem's.
"I think it is important to remember things like this happen and to keep them from happening again and to always remember Linda. Plus, the race raises awareness of the issue of rape," said attendee Lisa Porter.
As always, runners faced stiff competition on the racecourse. The first-place male winner and the first-place overall winner was Peter Meindl of Orchard Park, who ran the 5K race in 14:53 minutes. The first-place female winner was Vicki A. Mitchell of Amherst, who completed the course in 17:31 minutes.
Edward Brodka, assistant director of leadership development programs and the publicity coordinator for the run, estimated a turnout similar to last year's of approximately 1,200 participants.
People from all walks of life participated in the race: students and faculty, young and old, men and women, trained athletes and first-time runners.
Dean of Student Affairs Barbara Ricotta said, "We feel it is an important university/community event to be involved in. It is a nice event that promotes safety and all of the proceeds will go to providing campus funds promoting safety on campus, like Take Back the Night and the Anti-Rape Task Force."
Sunday's race was hosted and partially sponsored by Star 102.5 FM. The final results were announced at the awards ceremony immediately following the five-kilometer run, along with refreshments and a prize raffle.
Students helped with distribution of food and water, and were in charge of set-up before the race and clean-up following the race. Students also acted as registration assistants and staffed the racecourse.
Joey Tsao, a UB senior involved with the Polish SA and the Philippino-American SA and a diversity advocate from the Office of Student Multicultural Affairs, said, "I volunteered for the Linda Yalem Memorial Run on behalf of the Polish SA. We feel it is an honorable community service event. ... We want to encourage community support for the prevention of rape. We also want to show that we are a vigilant community and we understand that violence against woman is unacceptable."
"The race is an excellent opportunity for the community to come out and support the university. And an excellent memorial to Linda Yalem," said Nicole Cory, a fifth year communications major at UB and staff member of Star 102.5.
The top three UB male students were Todd Ludden of Buffalo, who came in second place overall with a time of 14:57; Rick Stewart of West Seneca, who followed Ludden in overall third place and ran the race in 15:22, and finally Joel Beatty of Holley, who ran the race in 15:45.
The top three UB female students were Karey Smoller, 20:20; Amy Fuller, 20:23; and Ann Marie Moquin, 20:43, all from Buffalo.
The top 3 male faculty and staff members were: Bruce Pitman of Amherst who ran the race in 18:56 minutes, Thomas L. Tomeo of North Tonawanda who ran the race in 20:16 minutes, and Robert M. Wright of Kenmore with a time of 20:24.
The top 3 female faculty and staff members were: Melissa A. Vasquez of East Amherst who ran the race in 21:55 minutes, Dorsi Raynolds of Williamsville who ran the race in 24:37 minutes, and Beth Gemperlein of Batavia with a time of 25:30 minutes.