“It was a great day, despite the rain,” said race director KAREN ROSENBERG of the first annual LIZ PADILLA Memorial 5k, which occurred last Sunday morning at Prospect Park. Over 300 participants, volunteers and spectators gathered to celebrate the life of Liz Padilla, who was a pro bono coordinator/staff attorney at the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP). She was tragically killed in June 2005 while riding her bike on Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue, on her way to work.

Presented by global firm Sonnenschein, Sunday’s 5k raised over $30,000 to help fund the 2007 Liz Padilla Cornell Law School Fellowship as well as a number of VLP programs that the energetic lawyer was passionate about, including the Senior Legal Education Assistance Project. “We exceeded our expectations by double,” Rosenberg said proudly.
Lino Castro won the race with a time of 17:11; Amy Duquett was the women’s champion and placed 11th overall at 23:15. Nine-year-old Genny Lyons was the youngest of the 5k bunch to cross the finish line at 54:59.

Rosenberg felt that that the participation of 28 adults from On Your Mark, a center for disabled adults in Staten Island, was a testament to the kind of person Padilla was. She said they were just one example of “the kind of constituency Liz worked her entire life to help.”

Next year’s memorial run/walk is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 30.