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600 runners, walkers compete in the Shelter Island’s 5K

Islander Kristina Martin-Majdisova winning the women's division of the Shelter Island 5K Run/Walk Saturday.

JO ANN KIRKLAND PHOTO | Islander Kristina Martin-Majdisova winning the women’s division of the Shelter Island 5K Run/Walk Saturday.

Jim Theinert was running with friends, including Annmarie Seddio at the beginning of Saturday’s Shelter Island 5K Run/Walk, and then they were separated. But at about the 3-mile mark with a tenth of a mile to go along Shore Road, Ms. Seddio reappeared and said, “I’m stealing some of your energy.”

“I’m borrowing some of yours,” Mr. Theinert said.

It was that kind of day.

The two friends ran shoulder to shoulder to the finish line at the eastern end of Crescent Beach with times right around the 24 minute, 30 second mark. Ms. Seddio, Receiver of Taxes for the town, finished as the first breast cancer survivor in the 16th annual running of the race for breast cancer awareness.

The race was many things. It was a chance to share a sparkling autumn day with families and friends running and walking together, of every age group, from infants pushed in strollers to men and women in their 80s. And it was a successful fundraiser for charities dedicated to women’s health, as well as one of the most beautiful and competitive long distance races on the Long Island circuit.

Up on West Neck Road as the runners and walkers — almost 600 had registered — assembled for the start at about 10:45 a.m., Bryan Knipfing, assistant coach of the Shelter Island School cross country team, stood on the golf course’s fairway next to the road.

Up on West Neck Road as the runners and walkers — almost 600 had registered — assembled for the start, Bryan Knipfing, assistant coach of the Shelter Island School cross country team, stood on the Goat Hill course’s fairway next to the street.

The school’s team was running as a group today, Mr. Knipfing said. “The idea is to have fun and enjoy each other’s company,” Mr. Knipfing said. “Nobody’s trying to win the race.”

The conditions, the coach said, were optimal, with crisp, cool air and clear roads. One concern had been a strong breeze off the bay below where runners would race along Shore Road toward the finish. But the wind had shifted and would be at racers’ backs, Mr. Knipfing said. It also felt at least 15 degrees coolers at the top of the hill compared to the stretch next to the bay with the wind creating a white chop in the blue.

If many racers, including members of the school team, were out for just some exercise and fellowship,

was there to win. She accomplished her goal handily as the first woman to break the tape for a time of 21:48.

Moments after she crossed the finish line, Ms. Martin-Majdisova said her legs had stiffened up during the race, probably due to running a marathon in Newport, Rhode Island just the week before.

But her brilliant smile said that a bit of soreness was nothing compared to a victory in her hometown race.

Luis Ramirez, 25, was also in the race to win. Standing in the front row of runners, waiting for the gun, Mr. Ramirez said that besides winning, his goal was to make a time of about 16 minutes. He was close enough, crossing the finish line ahead of the field at 16:26.

Originally from Mexico, Mr. Ramirez now lives in Southampton and works for a landscaper.

This was his first Island 5K, although he’s run the 10K “a few times,” he said, moments after winning. “A great day,” he said, catching his breath, adding not just for himself, but also for the charities and everyone who participated.

Christopher Sterling was the first Island man across the finish line with a time of 20:10.

Malcolm Rollo, 34, of Brooklyn by way of Scotland, finished third in the men’s division. At the railing of Crescent Beach, surrounded by friends he was visiting over the weekend, he was beaming. “They signed me up,” Mr. Rollo said. He summed up what everyone was thinking: “Great day. Great race.”

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