Two young track stars became the first Island man and woman to cross the finish line at Saturday’s 40th annual Shelter Island 10K.
Immediately after breaking the tape, Kal Lewis, 17, said he’d run the 10K before, but this was the first race he’d run for “time.”
His goal was to break 40 minutes, he said. Mission accomplished: The Shelter Island High School student, who will enter his senior year in September and holds numerous school records, broke the tape at 38 minutes 20 seconds, finishing 20th overall out of the 1,061 official entrants in the 10K.
Delia Hayes, 22, said she didn’t have a specific time as a goal running her first 10K. Spending every summer on the Island since she’s been a little girl, Delia graduated from Boston College this spring where she ran cross country and track. Saturday she ran a 38: 33 race to finish 33rd overall.
Both athletes said the warm, breezy day was near perfect for competitive running, adding that they got an energy boost to fuel their kicks at about the 4.5 mile mark of the 6.2 mile race. That’s the spot in Route 114, near “Joey’s Mile,” marked by thousands of small American flags lining the route down Midway Road toward Fiske Field and the finish. This last stretch of the race is dedicated to the memory of Army First Lieutenant Joseph Theinert who died fighting in Afghanistan in 2010
“There were a lot of people cheering us on, and that was great,” Delia said.
A member of the island’s Carey clan, she ran track and cross country at Bronxville High School in Westchester County before stepping up to topflight collegiate running at Boston College. It was her first 10K because, she said, during summers she had school training routines that didn’t include competition. Delia credited running legend and co-founder of the original 10K Cliff Clark for helping her train during the summer months.
It was difficult training without her teammates, she said, but “Cliff coached me twice a week. He held me accountable,” adding that her running career would not have nearly been as successful without him.
Another Cliff Clark protégé, Islander Tara Wilson, 32, ran a crisp 45.7 10K, noting that the conditions were perfect.
Kal ran with a former teammate, Joshua Green, 19, who is now running for Farmingdale State. Last year, Joshua became Shelter Island School’s first New York Winter Track State Champion as a key member of the winning four-person distance medley relay team.
The two friends paced each other, but at around Joey’s Mile, Joshua said he “told goodbye and good luck” to Kal, who put it an another gear for a sprint to the finish.
Both runners had been sick with colds the past two weeks, but it took a greater toll on Joshua. Even so, he produced a gutty performance of 38:57 for the day.
Kal said that he was satisfied with his time, but just enjoyed being in his hometown’s signature sporting event.
“We’ve volunteered for the race before,” Kal said, standing next to his friend. “It’s really a part of us.”