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Kal Lewis shatters 5K record

BEVRLEA WALZ PHOTO Kal Lewis, breaking the tape, and the record, at the Shelter Island 5K race Saturday.
BEVRLEA WALZ PHOTO Kal Lewis, breaking the tape, and the record, at the Shelter Island 5K race Saturday.

Maybe Kal Lewis should run every race feeling a bit under the weather.

On Saturday, the 15-year-old Shelter Island High School sophomore woke up with a sore throat, and several hours later broke the record for his hometown’s 5K race.

He didn’t just beat the record of 16 minutes, 39 seconds; he obliterated it, running the Island’s 5K course in 16:10.32. Eight seconds later, Joshua Green, 17, Kal’s teammate on the school’s country and winter track teams, finished second.

All told, about 600 people finished the race.

Running on clear, warm autumn day, Kal ran the 3.1 mile race at a 5:12 a mile clip.

Immediately after crossing the finish line, he said he wasn’t sure  when he woke up Saturday morning if he’d be able to compete. But when the start was announced by Dr. Frank Adipietro on West Neck Road next to the Shelter Island Country Club golf course, Lewis said he felt good, and sprinted the first mile.

As the course took him through Stearns Point Road, he was running alone, and slowed his pace a bit. But for the final leg along the bay on Shore Road, “I went for it,” he said, sprinting the final half mile for the record.

Kal was asked to describe the course. “It was beautiful,” he said.

Erin O’Toole, 27, of Floral Park was the first woman across the line, running the 5K in 20:06.47.

The first Shelter Island women across the line finished almost simultaneously. Running together, Emma Gallagher, 15, was timed at 23:03.66, followed by her sister Lindsey, 17, at 23:03.80 and Justine Karen, 16, at 23:03.94.

Louise Clark kept her incredible winning streak alive by taking the 5K race walking honors. Ms. Clark, who has won the race 10 years in a row, crossed the line first at 34:40.60.

A cancer survivor on a day dedicated to awareness of women’s cancers, Ms. Clark said, with a smile after finishing, “the Reporter tired to jinx me,” referring to a story last week in the paper on her decade-long winning streak.

Watch this site, and Thursday’s Reporter print edition, for more 5K photos and stories.