Steve Schallenkamp: Kiwanis Kingston Classic — The Big Race - The Daily Freeman

The Kingston Classic has always been the “big race” in town. For the first 34 years of its history, the race was run out of uptown Kingston and finished at Dietz Stadium.

In 2017, the Kiwanis Kingston Classic was moved to the Rondout section, starting and finishing at the waterfront. This move was to highlight the end of the HITS era of the race and to focus attention on the re-emergence of the Rondout as a vital part of Kingston.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Rondout was the most important port between Albany and New York City. It prospered as a transportation hub for the commerce of the D & H Canal. The Rondout was a vibrant melange of commercial and residential activity. In today’s urban development language, it was a mixed use area. With the rise of the railroads and the demise of the canal, the Rondout’s prosperity slowly eroded.

By the time I moved to Kingston in 1964, it was identified as the “slums.” In the late 1960s, an ill-fated urban renewal program destroyed all that was decrepit, but also all that was good along the strand. Thankfully, only the west side was obliterated. It has taken the better part of four decades for the Rondout to be revitalized.

This year’s 37th edition of the Kingston Classic will be on Sunday, April 28. The main attraction continues to be the 10k distance, but the Kiwanians have added two new distances. The new 5k race and 1.5 mile fun run allows for a greater range of participants. This expanded format seems ideal for runners of all abilities. The 1.5 mile fun run/walk is geared toward youngsters, beginning runners and people wanting to be involved in a fun, healthy, community activity.

The organizers anticipate over 500 participants. All three races will be timed and start and finish along the waterfront. Both the 10k and 5k will cross over to Port Ewen. The 10k course will take you through Rotary Park, along the Hudson River and past the Rondout Lighthouse before going back to the strand.

This year’s t-shirt looks terrific, in cobalt blue, depicting the historic Steamboat Mary Powell. The T-shirt was designed by local artist Judy Tellier. Register by April 16 to guarantee a shirt in your size. All finishers in the 10k and 5k will receive a finisher’s gift and all kids in the 1.5 miler will receive a fun item. In the 10k and 5k, there will be awards for the top three men and women in all standard 10 year age groups. There will be refreshments, ice cream and beverages hosted by the Ole Savannah Restaurant. The race has a fun, festival style atmosphere.

An important change this year is the earlier start time of the 10k at 10 a.m. and the 5k and fun run at 10:30 a.m. The earlier start time will help with race time temperatures and allow people to explore the Rondout after the race. Online registration is at

Registration will be available at race packet pickup on Saturday, April 27 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. under the 9W bridge near the Hudson River Cruises. Day of registration is from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at T.R. Gallo Park on lower Broadway. For all information, see

Remember, all the proceeds of this event go to support the community programs that the Kiwanis Club helps. These programs benefit the community year round.

Race Recaps

On March 31, the 25th Rays’ Run took off from Dietz Stadium and helped get the spring racing season started. This 4 mile run and 2 mile walk is in memory of Raymond Caddy, Jr. and raises scholarship money for KHS seniors who participated in cross-country and/or track. 120 runners, walkers and children participated in this year’s silver anniversary.

Travis Meier (22:00) and Gabriella Olivera (26:47) were the overall winners of the 4 mile race. Taking second and third place honors in the mens division were Sam Grant (22:59) and Karlo Peth (24:16).

Coming in second and third for the women were Rosibel Landau (29:24) and Renee Keplinger (30:52).

Having noteworthy races were Felix Meier (25:18), Chace Snyder (29:05), Amanda Carroll (31:18), Mary Denitto (33:32) and Pat Johnson (34:25). In the 2 mile walk, the overall winner was Katie Kortright (28:54) followed by Jenny Carpenter (29:42) and Angela Bader (30:22).

Organizers want to thank the KHS cross country and track teams for turning out in force to be volunteers. Without their help, this event would not happen.

Last Sunday, the 5th Dirty Sneaker 5k was held in Hurley. This race had 91 participants with 84 in the 5k and seven children in the kid’s dash. The children’s faces beamed as they received their ribbons. Kudos to the Onteora Runners Club for adding the dash to their event.

In the 5k, the “Boys of the Bruderhoff” once again dominated the race. The teens took seven of the top 10 places. Leading this contingent and taking the top three spots were Travis Meier (16:12), Fred Goodwin (16:29) and Kent Kleinsasser (16:31).

The women’s race was won by Gabrielle Olivera (19:24). In second and third respectively were Heather Hazzard (21:28) and Renee Keplinger (23:10). Some noteworthy performances were put in by Adam Beach (18:04), Ryan Kleitz (18:26), Steve Schindler (23:10), Jacque Schiffer (23:24) and Jillian Tyler (25:43).

Ms. Olivera is on quite a roll. In early March, she won the YMCA’s Indoor Triathlon and at the end of March, Rays’ Run. Her victory at the Dirty Sneaker was her third win in the span of five weeks.

After the race, the Onteora Runners Club held its annual luncheon to honor the award winners and survivors of its 2018 Grand Prix series. It also announced its Volunteer of the Year. This year’s winner was Phil Canion of the Town of Ulster. Phil has been an active volunteer for many years and organizes the popular Winter Breakfast Runs for the club.

Race Preview

If you can’t make it to the Kiwanis Kingston Classic, you may want to run the Huguenot Street Cooperative Nursery School Earth Day 5k on Saturday, April 27.

This flat and fast 5k is run on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz. The race starts and finishes among the old stone houses of the original French Huguenot settlement. This race raises money for the non-profit nursery school and has a lot of races for kids. It is being held in conjunction with the Earth Day festival. It sounds like a perfect family outing. To register/info go to and search for New Paltz Earth Day 5k or Facebook Huguenot Co-Op School Earth Day 5k.

Calendar, results

Race directors, please submit information for the race calendar to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Information should be in the form of a concise email with important details highlighted and included in the body of the email. No race flyer PDFs.

Race results should be submitted directly to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Steve Schallenkamp has been active in area running circles since 1966 as runner, race director, volunteer and coach. He is a member of the Onteora Runners Club and president of the Shawangunk Runners Club.

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