46th CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge Race

by Christine Bishop and friends

The CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge (WTC) is the largest road race in Albany this year capping at 7,000. Every runner in the race is a member of a corporate team. There are awards for individual runners and corporate teams. The event is managed by the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club (HMRRC) who every year designates a charity to sponsor and highlight its good work for our community. This year the charity of choice was the Rotterdam Community Center that received $12,000 to help fund their community outreach programs. The HMRRC uses the proceeds it receives to help underwrite many of its activities and offerings, including college scholarships , grants, free races for members, and the Just Run® Program, which encourages grade school children to run for exercise and fun.

CDPHP is now in its thirteenth year as the primary sponsor of this event and is noted for its involvement with helping to promote health in the Capital Region.

Winning Runners

I was shocked about crossing in first place with a sub-17min. Before the race, I knew I was in decent shape even though I had not explicitly trained for it, but I felt winning could be possible. However, considering that the capital region has excellent runners, I knew it would be challenging.

I did participate in this event in 2013 (many years ago), with 5th place (18:09) and knew that the course and that the rolling hills in Washington Park part can be challenging.

The day of the race, I was exhausted. Three days before the race, I finish moving from Erie, PA (6 hours from Albany), and then had to settle in. Plus, I had a full day of work, making it challenging to be set and ready to go. Therefore, my strategy was to be in the front pack without pushing the pace until mile 2 and then close the last 1.5 miles hard.

The race was terrific! The music and the people cheering along the route were fun and many people congratulated me later.

Mitchell Dailey

This was my first time running in the Workforce Challenge, as I am working as an intern this summer at SABIC. I am a rising senior on the RPI Cross Country team, and one of our assistant coaches, Austin Turner, is the captain of SABIC’s WTC team, and he was very excited to have me join. Going into the race, I looked at previous years’ results and felt that I had a chance to win. My plan was to take it out hard from the starting line and go for it. I got out well, but the hills early in the course were no joke, and Ricardo and Ryan were able to hawk me down in the middle miles of the race. While I had no response to them, I was glad to be able to hang on for 3rd place and hold off Ben Fazio, another RPI assistant coach. The event was super fun, and everyone here at SABIC was excited and impressed by our performance as a team. Because I am brand new here, news of the race results preceded my in-person introduction to most people, and it’s been the first thing many of them bring up as I meet them. Overall, it was a great experience and I look forward to doing it again!

Jon Lindenauer-Fifth Overall

Without any doubt, if you live in the NY Capital Region and are eligible to compete in it, the Workforce Challenge is an absolute must-do race. What do I mean when I say it is a "must-do"? For me it means a few things. To anyone who would ask, if I were to list the Capital Region races most worth going out of your way to take part in, four races come immediately to mind: the Firecracker 4 Mile in Saratoga, the Troy Turkey Trot, the Schenectady Stockeade-athon and the Workforce Challenge. Beyond this, it is a fantastic race for both runners and non-runners alike: parking on Madison Avenue and climbing the hill up toward the start Excelsior Pub was already packed with patrons wearing runner bibs engaging in a pre-race beer - even before the race starts the festivities are already underway! And on a more personal note, it also means even if I collapsed in a marathon less than two weeks before and had to be taken away in an ambulance, I still would not consider missing the race.

"Is it a marathon?" A spectator from a group shouted to me as I was warming up.

"No, it's 3.5 miles," I replied, "But I have done a marathon!"

In my latest marathon attempt I only saw the finish line as I was exiting an ambulance and walking away from a medical tent. It was the most heartbroken I had ever been from any race. Then here at my next race I crossed the line in fifth and it felt like one of the most triumphant moments of my running career. 7th would have still been great, 10th would have been great - compared to my most recent prior racing attempt just finishing would have been an improvement. And I left out one other important reason why it was a must-do for this runner: it was free!

Click here for Overall Results

Female Winners

Winner Karen Bertasso with U.S. Marathon legend, Bill Rodgers,
who, through the kindness of BBL Construction, came to Albany
and took part in the race.

Karen Bertasso-Hughes, First female

It’s been a few years since I ran the Workforce Challenge. As we all know the race was canceled in 2020 and in 2021 the event was brought back in a limited capacity. I work at the Albany Stratton VA and being a hospital in the midst of a pandemic our team decided not to partake. In 2022 I was in Fargo, ND because I was racing a marathon that weekend. That being said, I was nervous to be back after several years! The shorter distances are not my favorite and the race is only a few weeks before my 39th birthday which loomed ahead. 39?!! Here I was knowing I’d be competing with a bunch of younger women at a distance I did not prefer. Additionally, 5 days prior I raced the Prospect Mountain Road Race, something that was fun, but not something my legs are accustomed to—over 1600 feet of elevation gain! On top of that, there was the pressure to win. Needless to say, it was a battle with myself all week both mentally and physically.

Prior to the race it really helped having my CREW teammates Lizzie and Tricia to warm up with. The race itself started out much faster than I anticipated. I wanted to go out conservatively, however with 2 women ahead of me I had to go. About 3 of us were together at mile 1, I then made a move to pull away. Olivia stayed with me and we yo-yo’ed back and forth with each other through mile 3 which definitely helped push me. My husband, Mike, stood at mile 3 yelling at me to go! I started sprinting, which felt way too soon. Thankfully I had some speed in my legs and was able to pull away and put 10 seconds between us over the last ½ mile. That was the fastest I’ve ever closed! Walking back to the car with Mike, I noticed Bill Rodgers in front us. We chatted as we walked with him about the race and other events in the Northeast. Mike and I stopped to grab dinner in Delmar on our way home where I ordered a cider, which I couldn’t finish!

From my historical digging, this Workforce Challenge had the deepest women’s field in the history of the event. 7 women ran under 21 minutes which has never happened before. Of course I was happy to win and run a 6 sec course PR, however it was great to see so many amazing women also run fantastic and PR. The women’s running scene in the Capital Region is pretty incredible right now!

Ed. Note: Karen has now won the race five times. If she wins next year, she will share the record for the most wins with Emily Bryans.

Emily Burns – third Female; ran for Marist College

This was my first time running the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge. My school didn’t have a team participating, but I decided to sign up right before the deadline. I’m glad I was able to participate in the race this year. I hope to get more co-workers to join in next year! The course was definitely challenging with the uphill start. We went out quite a bit faster than I expected, so it was a bit of a shock to the system. I enjoyed running through Washington Park, and loved the chance to finish strong with the long downhill on Madison Ave. It was great to have so many teams participating and the race had really strong competition this year.

I am just getting back into running after taking some time off after college, but it was definitely a fun race to help me get back into racing.

Team Results


Male Female Coed

Male Teams

1. Regeneron - Male - A
18:15 - Jack Vite
19:22 - Drew Burns
20:12 - Matthias Gaige
21:21 - Jonathan Davis
TOTAL TIME: 1:19:10

2. SABIC - Male - A
17:30 - Mitchell Dailey
18:18 - Austin Turner
22:10 - Brendan Dix
22:20 - Aiden Truettner
TOTAL TIME: 1:20:18

3. General Electric - Male - A
19:55 - Aaron Knobloch
20:16 - Peter Katlic
20:24 - Jonathan Louden
20:53 - Brad Houska
TOTAL TIME: 1:21:28

4. Naval Nuclear Laboratory - Male - A
18:42 - Alexander Bianconi
21:17 - Andrew Berger
21:56 - Andrew Pavlou
22:57 - Joe Sgarlata
TOTAL TIME: 1:24:52

5. Team GF - Male - A
19:14 - Tyler Harrington
21:23 - Greg Hart
22:12 - Lincoln Walton
24:45 - Lyman Tinc
TOTAL TIME: 1:27:34

6. The Ayco Company, L.P. - Male - A
20:49 - Russell Merchant
21:44 - John Burke
22:36 - Joseph Abed El Latif
23:09 - Cameron Morrissey
TOTAL TIME: 1:28:18

7. The Fort Miller Group, Inc. - Male - A
18:51 - Daryn Hutchings
21:12 - Seth French
21:36 - Joshua French
26:50 - Thomas Vishneowski
TOTAL TIME: 1:28:29

8. General Electric - Male - B
21:23 - Oswaldo Rodriguez
21:37 - Nick Whaley
22:39 - Collin Budz
23:29 - Kyle Barden
TOTAL TIME: 1:29:08

9. Rational Enterprise - Male - A
18:46 - Joseph Simeone
21:08 - Jared Desrochers
25:05 - Nathaniel Holden
25:46 - Michael Faas
TOTAL TIME: 1:30:45

10. Albany Med Health System - Male - A
22:23 - Douglas Girling
22:29 - Richard Wong
22:50 - Anthony Pedersen
23:15 - Seth Capello
TOTAL TIME: 1:30:57

1. Regeneron - Female - A
20:55 - Tricia Longo
21:47 - Amanda Aussems
24:44 - Mary Devries
25:00 - Kathryn Cherry
TOTAL TIME: 1:32:26

2. General Electric - Female - A
23:53 - Diana Tobon-Knobloch
24:49 - Judy Guzzo
26:07 - Meaghan Podlaski
26:37 - Megan Stewart
TOTAL TIME: 1:41:26

3. Albany Med Health System - Female - A
24:12 - Abigail Macbeth
25:37 - Sarah Gutenmann
26:09 - Christine Varleyc
26:23 - Heather Bauerle
TOTAL TIME: 1:42:21

4. Department of Veterans Affairs - Female - A
20:14 - Karen Bertasso-Hughe
26:03 - Nicola Platzer
28:32 - McKenzie Conroy
29:22 - Allison Poetzsch
TOTAL TIME: 1:44:11

5. Regeneron - Female - B
25:46 - Kathryn Francis
27:07 - Katriona Blezy
27:10 - Abby Brown
27:28 - Cailee Navarro
TOTAL TIME: 1:47:31

6. Health Department (NYSDOH) - Female - A
25:27 - Amanda Lothrop
27:25 - Nina Henry
28:09 - Victoria Wagner
28:58 - Layli Deitz
TOTAL TIME: 1:49:59

7. NYS DOB - Female - A
24:45 - Cate Chamberlain
28:02 - Natasha Malchak
28:07 - Monique Pizzo
29:34 - Katlin Young
TOTAL TIME: 1:50:28

8. Environmental Facilities Corp EFC - Female - A
23:44 - Samantha Pellegrini
25:13 - Liz Ricci
30:17 - Allison Hopeck
31:39 - Rebecca Walker
TOTAL TIME: 1:50:53

9. NYS DOL - Female - A
23:27 - Allison Konderwich
27:49 - Matthew Robinson-Loffl
28:58 - Adele Girard
31:27 - Julie Keating
TOTAL TIME: 1:51:41

10. Capital Cardiology Associates - Female - A
25:24 - Garrett Esper
27:10 - Larissa Dipace
29:27 - Amanda Travis
29:44 - Karen Canniff
TOTAL TIME: 1:51:45


Coed Teams

1. Albany Med Health System - Coed - L
19:48 - Robert Ordish
22:20 - Sean Cleary
23:24 - Erin Macbeth
23:28 - Danielle Eckler
TOTAL TIME: 1:29:00

2. Fleet Feet Albany/Malta - Coed - A
17:48 - Ben Fazio
20:53 - Noreen Guilfoyle
22:48 - Anton Conto
27:50 - Samantha Simmons
TOTAL TIME: 1:29:19

3. NYSTEC - Coed - A
18:07 - Geoffrey Hale
18:25 - Sean O'Brien
20:24 - Olivia Beltrani
36:47 - Jessica Edmonds
TOTAL TIME: 1:33:43

4. Regeneron - Coed - A
21:56 - Russell Brown
22:29 - Jeffrey Krywanczyk
25:15 - Kailey Castellano
25:25 - Abigail Kopp
TOTAL TIME: 1:35:05

5. Ichabod Crane School District - Coed - A
18:10 - Dave Vona
23:41 - Beth Ruiz
25:08 - Nicholas Funk
29:34 - Melanie Moon-Wilary
TOTAL TIME: 1:36:33

6. Plug Power Inc. - Coed - A
18:49 - Simon Powhida
23:02 - Gilbert Hegermiller
24:25 - Kim Fetcho
31:39 - Hannah Debose
TOTAL TIME: 1:37:55

7. Bethlehem Central School District - Coed - A
21:33 - Andrew Rickert
24:32 - John Walston
26:19 - Christen Jordon
26:27 - Alexandria Kosek
TOTAL TIME: 1:38:51

8. SUNY System Administration - Coed - A
20:40 - Jack Lyons
24:46 - Jon Gurney
25:39 - Katie Vitello
29:52 - Sandy Malloy
TOTAL TIME: 1:40:57

9. KPMG LLP - Coed - A
21:40 - Dean Geesler
21:43 - Jake Kinney
27:32 - Sarah Green
30:56 - Ashley Defreitas
TOTAL TIME: 1:41:51

10. Naval Nuclear Laboratory - Coed - A
24:13 - Milo Tallon
24:26 - Christopher Parks
26:42 - Kathryn Kelly
29:01 - Heather Maffei
TOTAL TIME: 1:44:22

Click here: CEO Results

Click here: Top Participation Teams

Click here for Team T-Shirt Contest Winners

Click here for thousands of pictures from the event taken by Bill Meehan

Click here for Event History

CDPHP WTC Volunteers – and we deeply thank them for without them there would be no race@!

We look forward to another exciting CDPHP WTC in 2024!


Loading Conversation

Partner Clubs

Partner clubs offer group runs and local races to the Capital Region running community

Create Account

Log In Your Account