Posted by Megan Croake on July 28, 2004 at 11:44:59:
I ran the Pepper Martin this year as a member of a team, 'Team 58', which competed under the Special Teams category. The qualifying rules for teams in this category are: 5 members who have not competed since the September of the previous year for a running club or school team. At least one member of the team must be female. The category also requests that the team does not enter any 'ringers'.
Team 58 did well; in fact well enough that it seemed the 1st place award was inevitable. However, when the awards were announced we were awarded 2nd place. Shortly after, the 1st place team was announced-listing 5 male names.
Our team stayed behind to discuss this with the judges after the awards ceremony only to be told that the ‘1st place team’ did in fact have a female and they failed to mention her. However, they did not have her name or time until the team leader checked the results sheets to get it. All of this seemed a bit suspect to our team but we decided to walk away. The judges must have thought better of that decision because they called us back to discuss the matter further. At this time everyone had left the park to enjoy the beautiful 4th of July weather except Team 58. They then explained to us that one of our team members failed to check off the correct team category even though this person wrote in the name of the team he/she was running for. This was also frustrating but we were willing to accept this. I personally spoke with one of the judges to explain why this was so important for Team 58. The reason is that this group of friends runs the Pepper Martin together is for more than just fun. This team runs in memory of a man no longer with us that enjoyed this race. His name is Walter P. Kelly. The team also encourages friends to raise money for the Walter P. Kelly Memorial Scholarship Fund that provides a scholarship to a young man every other year to Monsignor Farrell high school to play football. Walter was #58 for the Farrell Lions.
Team 58 received a phone call 2 days after the race to say that we had indeed WON 1st place because it turned out that the other team lied about their female member and it was also decided to let our teammate who scored for us and 'supposedly' checked off the wrong team box on the application to be counted. It also turns out that one of the male members is a star track athlete for an SI school.
I wonder if the fact that this was decided after the judges found out what Team 58 was about.
All I know is that the scoring was corrected for the SI Advance and Team 58 got the recognition it deserved but it has NOT been corrected on this website. It is important to us that it is since this the primary place SI runners look at results.
Running races on Staten Island can certainly be beyond frustrating. However, I plan to keep at it anyway.
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