2018 CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge Race

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As far as races go, this one is a monster. Just to write about it is hard let alone to direct it. So that is where I will start with Mark Warner who has taken over the reins since 2013 and handled it superbly. Why anyone would do this enthusiastically with no pay is amazing on its own. He has to plan and worry about crafting a race for 10,000 yes 10,000 people and make sure that all goes well because as we know America is a litigious society, but a greater concern for him is ensuring that each person enjoys their run. Next he has to secure a network of likeminded volunteer captains who will coordinate a section of the race that will take them hours or days of planning and too with only the satisfaction of seeing the race do well. Breaking all rules of journalism, I will list the captains immediately and thank them for their selfless service:

Race Treasurer

Cathy Sliwinski

Master of Ceremonies

Chad O’Hara

Advertising Coordinator

Nick Webster

Awards Coordinator

Christine Bishop

Charity of Choice Coordinator

Angela Warner

Communications/Packet Pick-up

Debbie Beach

Corporate Sponsors Coordinator

Tom McGuire

Course Coordinator

Ken Skinner

Course Entertainment Coordinator

Dave Heyward

Information Tent

Stephanie Kite

Logistics Coordinator

Ed Neiles

Medical Coordinator

Tracy Callaghan

Refreshment Coordinator

Maureen Cox

Security Coordinator

Mike DelRocco

Set-Up Coordinator

Tom Fitzpatrick

Start and Finish Line Coordinator

John Parisella 

Team Captain Coordinator

Clay Lodovice

T-Shirt Coordinator

Arleen Reyell

T-Shirt Coordinator

Jill Mehan

Volunteer Tent

Dave Heyward

Water Coordinator

Jon Rocco

CDPHP Sponsorship Representatives


Community Relations/Sponsorship

Victoria Baecker

Community Relations

Adele O’Connell

Marketing Communications Manager

Alexa Kerins

Public Relations 

Ali Skinner

Population Health Coordinator

Cassandra Diorio

Public Relations Specialist

Natalia Burkart

This impressive list is only “tip of the iceberg” as far as volunteers go, but we will take a break so list fatigue doesn’t strike and instead will supply mind-bending facts and statistics designed to stimulate.

The HMRRC website furnishes the following history of the event.

1980 was the inaugural year. This event was known as the Manufacturers Hanover Capital Challenge ("Manny-Hanny") from 1980-84, the Manufacturers Hanover Corporate Challenge from 1985-91, the Chemical Bank Corporate Challenge from 1992-95, the The Chase Corporate Challenge from 1996-2000, the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in 2001, the GHI Workforce Team Challenge from 2002-2009 and the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge starting in 2010. The event was directed by (HMRRC) committee from 1980-82, by Carter Andersson-Wintle from 1983-92, by Al Maikels from 1993-2003, by Mark French from 2004-05, by Pete Newkirk from 2006-11, by Mike Rabideau in 2012 and Mark Warner starting in 2013. The 1980-1994 Course was two loops around the Empire State Plaza (a killer hilly course!) ending on the plaza near the "pool of reflections." In 1995 the race adopted the "Up Madison Ave, around the Park and back to the Plaza" route, more or less. The 2015 event had a record 10,237 entrants. Chip Timing started in 2013.

Course Records: Speed: Nobert Berenyi, May 18, 1995: 16:17 and Megan Hogan, May 15, 2015: 18:32. Most Wins: Tom Dalton: 14 total- 1982-86, 1988-89, 1992-94, 1998, 2002, 2004-05; and Emily Bryans: 6 total- 2000-05.

2018 winners were Matt Brooker, 27, 17:29 third consecutive win; Karen Bertasso, 33, 20:30 third win.

Each year, the HMRRC and CDPHP select charities of choice – and encourage participants to donate to those organizations. This year, two charities of choice were named: the Albany Public Library Foundation and Regional Food Bank of NENY. We asked our race participants and volunteers to raise funds for our 2018 Charities of Choice and they responded with double over last year raising $45,000! Our highest fundraising team was GE this year under group team captain Aaron Knobloch! If you haven’t yet made a donation but would like to, there is still time. You can donate at www.cdphpwtc.com

While 10,000 runners whizzed by there was music wafting in the air from Playin’ With Fire, in front of the State Museum and Big Fez and the Surfmatics, Unfinished Business, and the Albany High School Jazz Band dotting the course.

Of course all this could not go on without financial support. First, a special thanks to our title sponsor – CDPHP. CDPHP has sponsored the Workforce Team Challenge going on 10 years. We also wantto recognize CDPHP for winning the JD Power award for the second year in a row. Congratulations CDPHP!  Next, we thank our media sponsor B95.5, and All-U for the great work they do year after year on the race t-shirts.

Of course, we couldn’t do this without the support of our …

Premium Plus sponsors:

·         Capital Cardiology Associates

·         Jaeger & Flynn

Premium sponsors:

·         AREEP

·         Atlas Copco

·         Bimbo Bakeries

·         Hannaford

·         Regeneron

·         Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

·         Trustco Bank

·         Tyler Technologies


·         University at Albany

Additional sponsors include…

·         Accenture

·         Adirondack Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

·         Aflac

·         NYSTEC

·         AND

·         Pioneer Bank

And, now, for some team recognition …

The “largest participation” awards in several categories are presented to the teams with the most registered participants. The winners are:

Public Corporation:

General Electric (Aaron Knobloch) – 268

Regeneron (Jenny Ming) – 239

Trustco Bank (Michaela Martin) - 129


Albany Medical Center (Stephen Jones) – 308

CDPHP (Cassie Diorio) - 251

NYSTEC (Peter Zwagerman) – 66

Government Agency:

NYS ITS (Mike Becker) - 144

Health Department (NYSDOH) (Leeander Essenter) – 125

Office of the State Comptroller (Mary Eileen Barret) – 111

Private Corporation

Community Care Physicians PC (Christina DeStefano) – 166

Pioneer Bank (Kelli Rappleyea) – 98

BBL (Kathleen Tersigni) – 95


1.   Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Cameron McLean) - 95

2.   Shenendehowa Central School District (Kelly Ann Keller) – 81

3.   University at Albany (Michael Christakis) – 65

As is evident, planning a race of this magnitude is quite an undertaking. We thank all involved and hope to see them running happily down the streets of Albany next year. In the meantime, consult our website during the coming year to see our progress for 2019!

More Articles & Pictures:

Times Union-158 Pictures

Times Union-23 Pictures

Brooker, Bertasso CDPHP WTC 24 Pictures

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