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North Coast Challenge a Day for Family, Community

Race raises money for local charities and organizations

Saturday's North Coast Challenge brought out everyone from hard-core racers to walkers to children for the annual event that .

More than 430 runners ran the 5-mile race that started near entrance on Center Ridge Road. Ages ranged from 10 to 84.

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Mourad Marofit was the overall winner in 23 minutes, 22.5 seconds. Jessica Kuhr was the top woman finisher in 26:30.67.

Westlake mayor Dennis Clough was the first finisher in the 2-mile walk.

"I don't train for this," he said. "I just do the elliptical five times a week."

The race was also a family experience. Children cheered on their running parents. Several parents pushed carriages in the walk. Philip Hock of Avon Lake pushed his 20-month-old daughter, Olivia, for the whole 5-mile run.

Chris Tomko and his daughter, Brooke, 11, of North Olmsted, ran the 5-mile run together.

"It wasn't easy for her," he said. "She had a hard soccer practice last night. But we wanted to do this. It's our father-daughter thing to do together."

Several children and adults were wearing T-shirts saying "Team Mone Bone." The children were participating in the Fun Run, while the adults were doing the walk.

Sheri Smith of North Olmsted said she and her relatives were wearing the shirts in memory of her cousin, Monica English, who died in 2011 at age 36 of clear cell carcinoma and ovarian cancer after fighting them for two years.

"Monica loved her life," Smith said. "She did not let the cancer get her down. She was determined to beat the beast. Monica was the most vibrant and fun-loving person I knew. She had a love for life, a great sense of humor, and lived every day to its fullest."

Team Mone Bone, started by English's friends in Los Angeles, also raises funds for the Cedars-Sinai's Women's Cancer Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.

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