A day of energy, commitment and community

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO
Fans and athletes of all ages were at the 19th annual Shelter Island 5K race, which raises money for research to fight cancers that affect women.

If you were running or walking in the1 9th annual Shelter Island 5K on October 20 it was a perfect weather day as early morning rain stopped well before the race began. The sun even peaked through, making it, perhaps, a bit too warm at moments for the traditional Island event that raises money for research to end breast cancer and other women’s cancers.

But Mother Nature turned fickle. As participants headed for the finish line along the shores of Crescent Beach they were walloped by cold winds.

None of that bothered the nearly 600 people reported as finishing the course.

The real winners on Saturday, all would agree, were the North Fork Breast Health Coalition, the Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Southampton Hospital and Lucia’s Angels. Through the years, they have received close to $600,000 raised by the Island’s 5K racers to benefit cancer patients on the East End.

Winners among runners were Chris Koegel, 35, of Wantagh and Sag Harbor with a time of 17:42.9 and Alyssa Kraus, 17, from Fairfield, Connecticut with a time of 19:41.03.

Patting his heart as he completed the race, Mr. Koegel said he was running to honor his mother, Denise Koegel of Merrick, who lost her battle with breast cancer just a month ago at age 64. “She’s with me,” Mr. Koegel said.

It was a red-letter day for the Kraus family with Alyssa taking that first place honor for women runners while her brother Alex, 20, came in with her, claiming second place in the men’s division.

Adding to that, four generations of the Kraus family and two dogs came to celebrate Cecelia Kraus, who took home the plaque as the 2018 Angel of the Year for her dedicated caring for those in need.

Ms. Kraus celebrated her 90th birthday on Monday and is going strong as a 5K volunteer.

The course record still belongs to Kal Lewis, 16, from Shelter Island, who last year posted a blistering run of 16:10.32 while Janelle Kraus Nadeau holds the record for women at a time of 16:32.
Kal announced before the race that he would be running a pace with the Shelter Island Cross Country Team. Mr. Lewis posted a time of 30:06.38. Ms. Nadeau posted a time of 20:39.33 in this year’s race.

The first person across the finish line Saturday was Islander Bill Lehr, 60, the sole competitor in the wheelchair division. “It’s a beautiful day, at least for me,” Mr. Lehr said at the end of the course.

The first cancer survivor to finish was Emily Verneuille, 24, of New York City with a race time of 23:54.65. Island Receiver of Taxes Annmarie Seddio, 51, followed with a time of 24:23.83 and was the top local runner among cancer survivors.

Islander Louise O’Regan Clark, 52, was the first walker to cross the line — no surprise, she has won her division multiple times — with a time of 34:50.49. Dr. Frank Adipietro, sharing microphone duties with Mike Rauh, noted Ms. O’Regan Clark is also a cancer survivor.

Towny Montant and his Team Flamingo partners raised the most money, totalling $10,640.22, just edging out Linda Zavatto, But Ms. Zavatto, who several years ago raised $500 the first year after her mother died of breast cancer, has brought in thousands of dollars over the years. For 2018, she raised a hefty $6,291.

“It’s a beautiful race — my favorite,” said Brianne Manwaring, 39, of Greenport. She posted a respectable run at 28:18.68.

“I’m beating everybody who’s sitting at home today,” pronounced Jack Skydel of Mendham, New Jersey. No argument here.

Another winner this year is Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro, who directed her 19th Shelter Island 5K. Ms. Adipietro was quick to credit the many volunteers who help to organize, set up and disassemble the race course, adding that they are “remarkable.”

Dr. Frank Adipietro noted that his wife and her team are “going to keep doing it until they find a cure.”

Complete times for all runners and walkers are available at the Shelter Island 5K website at shelterislandfall5k.com.

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