DiNuzzo's victory a badge of honor

Colonie policeman wins GHI Workforce race

By PETE IORIZZO, Staff writer First published: Friday, May 19, 2006

ALBANY -- As a patrolman for the Colonie Police Department, Lou DiNuzzo sometimes hands out speeding tickets, particularly around his running routes.

"But I don't like to give out too many of those," he said.

Indeed, speed is a concept DiNuzzo appears to embrace.

DiNuzzo, a 23-year-old from Colonie, blazed to a victory in the GHI Workforce Team Challenge on Thursday, completing the 3.5-mile race in 17 minutes, 51 seconds. He topped a record field that included about 5,500 runners and 335 teams, all of whom raced a path that started on Madison Avenue, near Empire State Plaza, and twisted through Washington Park.

DiNuzzo finished 25 seconds ahead of Philip Roach, who placed second.

Wearing a white T-shirt that said "Colonie PD," black shorts and sunglasses, DiNuzzo churned toward the finish line flanked, appropriately enough, by two police motorcycles and a police truck, all of which flashed their lights. He held up his arms as he busted through the tape.

"I wanted to do this to put Colonie in a good light," DiNuzzo said.

This marked DiNuzzo's first entry into the race. In winning, the former Shaker High runner and assistant coach beat Tom Dalton, who has won the event a record 14 times, including the 2004 and 2005 races.

Dalton finished 10th with a time of 19:04. He said a pulled abdominal muscle hindered his training this year. The 47-year-old Rotterdam resident said he planned to return to the race next year, in better shape and, he hopes, with a better finish.

"It's not as much fun running in the middle of the pack," he said.

Dana Peterson, a professor at the University at Albany, led the women's field with a time of 21:46. Like DiNuzzo, she won for the first time. She placed seventh last year, she said.

Emily Bryans, who had won the women's race six consecutive years, did not race.

"When I saw that, I thought it was wide open," Peterson said.

Peterson said she bolted early from an awards ceremony at UAlbany to attend the race in time. She expected to see race coverage in newspapers taped to her office door this morning; whenever she competes, a co-worker hangs the results on her door, she said.

"So I'll be ready for it," Peterson, 35, said with a laugh.

Both DiNuzzo and Peterson plan to return to work tomorrow, Peterson to the classroom, DiNuzzo on patrol.

"Hopefully," DiNuzzo said, "I get a good reception."