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School club running strong in 6th year

CHRISTINE GALLAGHER PHOTO The Shelter Island Running Club oceanside after the East Hampton Bonac 5K for Wellness on May 20.

CHRISTINE GALLAGHER PHOTO The Shelter Island Running Club ocean-side after the East Hampton Bonac 5K for Wellness on May 20.

The Running Club at the Shelter Island School is celebrating its sixth year.

What started as an unofficial track club in 2011 with Toby Green and Bryan Gallagher evolved into a school-sponsored program a year later.

The Running Club is a great introduction to the sport with Coach Bryan Knipfing managing the program two days a week, in the fall and the spring. The program focuses on fun and involves games that revolve around running such as “sharks and minnows” and “manhunt.”

On May 20, members of The Running Club traveled to East Hampton to run the Bonac 5K for Wellness, a community-minded event. For some kids it’s the first road race they’ve ever run. Coach Knipfing said that “the members of The Running Club have been working hard this year. This race is a great way for runners to see how all their hard work has paid off.”

The race starts out near the East Hampton middle school and winds its way down the tree-lined streets of East Hampton Village en route to the Main Beach finish line.

Athletic Director Todd Gulluscio, who wholeheartedly supports the event, made the trip for the fifth year in a row, experiencing it from a golf cart to assist East Hampton’s athletic director sweeping the course, making sure all the youth runners are in good shape and handing out water along the course to those who need it.

This year Coach Knipfing coordinated the school’s involvement and Coach Gallagher helped out as a chaperone. All the athletes did very well. Our youngest participant was 4th grader Harry Clark who ran 27:44.

The 5th grade runners ran times as follows: Janet Carbajal 39:02, Danae Carter 38:21, Nathan Cronin 30:46, Dariana Duran Alvarado 38:59, Jennifer Fabian Santos 34:28 and Jaxson Rylott 27:46. Hayden Rylott, a 7th grader, ran 33:48; 8th graders Arianna Carter and Olivia Overstreet, in their first 5Ks ever, ran 34:19; 9th grader Jalill Carter, also in his first 5K, ran 30:25. Varsity 9th graders Tyler Gulluscio and Jason Green ran 18:44 and 21:31, respectively.

It was a good time and a great way to end The Running Club for the year, racing and then partaking in the “all you can eat” bagels, oranges and water at the ocean-side finish line.

There’s no doubt, the ice cream was also well received by the athletes.

The future of running is alive and well on Shelter Island. I’m sure we’ll see a few of these young athletes trying their best at the upcoming Shelter Island 5K on June 16.

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