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‘Bitsy’ first Island woman to break 2017 10K tape

COURTESY PHOTO Elizabeth Morgan on the Shelter Island course Saturday, June 17.
COURTESY PHOTO Elizabeth Morgan on the Shelter Island course Saturday, June 17.

Elizabeth Morgan’s nickname since girlhood has been “Bitsy,” she says, as in “Itsy Bitsy.”

On Saturday, June 17, at the Shelter Island 10K, Bitsy came up big as the first woman registered from Shelter Island to cross the finish line.

Now working for a private equity firm in New York City, Ms. Morgan, 25, said she’s “spent every summer of my life on Shelter Island, sailing, going to Camp Quinipet, golfing and playing soccer” and is here many weekends throughout the year.

Running is down her list when it comes to sports, and even though she’s been in every 10K since 2009, she didn’t really train for the 38th annual event.

No matter, her finish speaks volumes about her fitness.

Her goal this year was to improve on her average time for her previous seven 10Ks, which came to just south of 50 minutes. She decided if she could break that in 2017, she’d be satisfied.

Ms. Morgan’s race started out with a quick pace. She was running with Island friends Tucker Pribor and Jeremy Laptook.. But around the 2-mile mark next to the white fence of Paard Hill horse farm, she lost one of her racing partners.

“Jeremy gave me a high five,” she said, his signal that he was going on ahead.

The crowds along the way buoyed her, especially friends and family on Gardiner’s Bay Drive, at Cobbetts Lane, in Dering Harbor and in the Heights who gathered to cheer her on.

“But also all the people I didn’t now, who give us all so much encouragement,” she added.

The muggy day didn’t bother Ms. Morgan, but she began to feel the first tinges of fatigue when she reached the 5-mile mark of the 6.2-mile course. The landscape didn’t help her, either.

“It’s a shady part of the course, not as scenic and it always feels longer than it is,” she said.

Hitting the grass at Fiske Field with the finish line brought on a jumble of emotions. “It was euphoric, a feeling of relief that the race would be over, but also bummed that the experience would be over,” Ms. Morgan said.

She sprinted to the finish. Her final time was 49: 39.28.

Goal accomplished.