BY ROBERT ELKIN
While Yigezu Diriba of Manhattan went out fast, led all the way and was the official winner of the Federation of Italian-America Organizations of Queens, Inc. 5K run/walk on Saturday, the first Queens runner to cross the finish line was Giancarlo Cipri of Maspeth.
Most of the competitors came from all over this borough of Queens and represented their running clubs. Among them was Queens’ Hellgate club.
The race started by the intersection of 20th Avenue and 33rd Street.
Cipri put on a rally to finish runner-up. He was indeed satisfied with his performance and time of 17:04.7. Cipri attends Manhattan’s Xavier High School, where he is a cross country and track athlete, and is training for another harrier season.
He entered the 3.1 mile race because his father knew some people who competed in the past.
“We ran on a hard course,” the winner said. “The last up hill … was tough. He (the winner) went out a lot harder (than I did ). I did not lead at any point of the race. About a mile and a quarter I ‘cut’ (went into) second place and (stayed there).”
Cipri is a junior at Xavier where he is one of the holdovers on the team and he and his teammates are coached by Pat Dormer.
“Coach tells me to run hard,” Cipri added. “He’s a great coach.”
The course is an out and back one and all the runners come back year after year. Some of them are preparing for future races, including the New York City Marathon.
Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), kicked off the event. The money raised goes to support young people who have drug addiction.
The female winner was Lusia Martinez of Astoria who was timed in 22 minutes.