Gordy’s First Race

WESTFIELD – New Year’s Day saw 249 runners gather at South Middle School at 11 a.m. for Gordy’s First Race to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield.
The 5K and 10K race is named for Gordon ‘Gordy’ Bates, who was a long-time Westfield runner and Boys & Girls Club supporter. He was race director for the First Race in the 1990’s until it was ended for financial reasons.
According to current race director Mike Sheldon, after Gordy passed away unexpectedly in 2009 the race was resurrected in his name. “Many of the race’s current runners have come forward to say how much they enjoyed knowing Gordy and participating in his races. Gordy worked for B&E Tool in Southwick and they have become our major sponsor. We thank them very much,” Sheldon said.
The current edition of the race was started in 2009. Sheldon said the first year the race drew 42 runners. This year, 150 pre-registered, and 100 more registered the day of the race. Registration cost $30 for the 10K race, and $25 for the 5K race. All registered runners receive a fleece scarf, and were treated to hot chocolate following the race.
Taking first place in the 5K was Michael Shea, 30, of Westfield with a time of 18:25. First place female was Lisa Anderson, 39, of Westfield with a time of 21:37. First place male in the 10K was Mark Rabasco of Pittsfield with a time of 37:24. First place female in the 10K was Vanessa Diana, 45, of Westfield with a time of 42:33.
Race committee members and race volunteers, including Gordy’s family, volunteered their time for the event, Sheldon said, which raised almost $6000 to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield.
Gordon Bates was also race director for the Oleksak Spring Half Marathon to benefit the Boys & Girls Club, which Sheldon also took over. This year’s race, renamed the Whip City Half Marathon, will take place on May 1.
To obtain complete results for Gordy’s First Race 5K and 10K, click on the following link:

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