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Shelter Island 10K poised for 40th year


In the spring of 1979 the Town Board passed a resolution to support would become the first Shelter Island 10K the following year. The race that started as a small, local event has grown into a large, regional event for runners from all over the East Coast and farther afield, including a number of Olympians and other world-class athletes.

Saturday, June 15 will mark the 20th year Mary Ellen Adipietro has led the group organizing the race, which was originally developed by Cliff Clark, John Strode and Jack Faith. Through the years, the race has raised more than $750,000 to benefit local charities.

To honor the 40th year of the race, a Masters Runner Category has been added for men and women 40 or older. Anyone who completes the race in less than 40 minutes will receive a T-shirt — “I broke 40 at the 40th” — compliments of Harry Hackett of Merrill Lynch.


There’s always a kids’ “fun run” with medals for all participants, but this year, there will be other family fun activities on the school grounds and outside the American Legion Hall, including bounce houses, a photo booth, kids crafts and a Mister Softee stand.

Following the race, all runners can enjoy a barbecue compliments of STARs Café with hotdogs, hamburgers and veggie burgers. Artisan food trucks from Pizza Rita and Mattitaco and Long Ireland Brewery and Bottle Hampton will also be offering food and drinks for purchase.

Points East will provide live music for dancing and Grandstand Sports will oversee a silent auction.

In addition, at the after party, a contest will be held with runners encouraged to dress in their best 80s running apparel. Three winners, chosen by the Olympians, will take home Shelter Island Run apparel.

Several former Olympians will be here to participate on Saturday, June 15, including Joan Benoit Samuelson — the first woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal, running in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Now 63, Ms. Benoit Samuelson ran the Boston Marathon this year, coming in first in her age category. She won the Boston race 40 years ago.

Also returning to Shelter Island is Olympian Bill Rodgers, a four-time winner of the New York City Marathon and four-time Boston Marathon winner.

Joining the two perennial favorites are Olympians Benji Durden and Kyle Heffner, who both competed on the 1980 Olympic team, but were denied the right to compete four years later when the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics.

Keith Brantly, a 1996 Olympian, who has previously run the local course, returns this year.

George Hirsch, chairman of the Board of the New York Road Runners and a veteran of more than 40 marathons, will also be on the course. Mr. Hirsch is a joint founder of the New York City Marathon and publisher of Runner’s World.

Writer and runner Bart Yasso, who once identified Mr. Hirsch as “the most mentally tough runner I know,” will be running the 10K. Renowned author and long-time contributor to Runner’s World, Amby Burfoot, will be a competitor. He won the 1968 Boston Marathon.

Add to that list of notables, legends Jon Sinclair and his wife Kim Jones.

Runner’s World has dubbed Mr. Sinclair “King of the Rankings” for having the most wins and placings of any male runner in modern road racing history. He’s a member of the Road Runner’s Club of America Hall of Fame, a former USA National Cross Country and 10,000 meter champion, and an Olympic Trials finalist in the 5,000 meters. He has represented the USA on numerous national teams.

Today he’s a renowned athletic coach.

His wife, Ms. Jones, was inspired by Ms. Benoit Samuelson’s victory in the 1984 Olympics and began running marathons, becoming one of the best in the world. She won the Twin Cities Marathon twice, in 1986 and 1989, and was ranked third in the world among distance runners in 1991. She finished on the podium in Boston three times, was runner-up in New York City, Houston,  Chicago and Berlin.

She has more high-level placings in world-class marathons than any other United States female marathoner in history, with 17 performances under 2:33. She is a member of the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame and Colorado Running Hall of Fame. She and her husband are athletic coaches.

Runners and walkers can register online at //bit/ly/2DaoKiB or by printing the registration form from shelterislandrun.com/register and mailing it to S.I. Run Inc., P.O. Box 266, Shelter Island, New York 11964. Registration fees are listed online.