One of the reasons Annie Bai was finally lured to the sport of running is the fact that all she needed to do was lace up her sneakers.
"You don't need any equipment, you don't have to make a trip to the gym," said the Bedford Hills resident. Up until last year, she'd always jogged one or two times a week, but never considered herself a runner and never really made it past the two-mile mark.
Then Bai registered for the last fall, and participated in training runs led by Bettini Sementilli, owner of in Katonah.
"She was kind, supportive and motivating," Bai said. "I learned how to run hills and how to pace myself and keep myself motivated—which was easier with a group."
Not only did Sementilli help her break through a running barrier, she agreed to help her organize this year's Katonah road race, to be held on Sept. 8.
The 5K, last year organized by the Katonah Chamber of Commerce, Village Improvement Society and Memorial Park Association, has a few return organizers—Mike Berardino and Frank Greene, in addition to Bai and Sementilli.
And there are some new features.
The theme is "Runners for Reading," and each participant will be asked to donate a children's book for the Open Door early literacy program, and proceeds from runner's fees will benefit the and the Books purchased for the race will be offered at cost by , one of the race's sponsors (see list below for all sponsors).
In addition, there are two races designed for kids: a one-miler for ages 7-12 and a "Tots' Race" around the school's driveway loop.
Sementilli said her goal with the training runs is to help like-minded people find each other.
"We hope people make friends, find others to run with and yes, become more efficient in their running," said the four-time marathoner (she's about to run her fifth in New York City this November).
The clinic starts at 8 a.m. this Saturday at KES. Another training run will be held on Sept. 1 at the same time and location.
Registration is now open and can be done online or at CrossSport Woman. The route starts at Katonah Elementary School and is run partly through neighborhoods and the trails of Katonah Memorial Park, and ends back at KES. (Click here for the route map).
Sponsors of Katonah 5K RunCross Sport Woman
State Farm, Mike Berardino
Bedford Hills Chamber of Commerce
Katonah Chamber of Commerce
James E. Dalrymple, Esq.
Katonah Art Center
Frank Veith, Esq
Katonah Wine & Liquor
Indian Auto Collision
Katonah Insurance Co., Philip Eifert
Ricci & Greene
Christina Dochtermann, Realtor
Marti Martial Arts
Little Joe's Bookstore
Judith Reardon PC
Northern Westchester Auto Body
Raneri Bros. (Charles Dept Store)
Westchester Health Associates
BH Lion's Club
Dr. Stuart Weitzman, BH Family Chiropractic
Kelloggs & Lawrence
Verizon Wireless Zone