Editorial: The great race

Shelter Island is the perfect spot for distance runs, and not just for the physical beauty that runners race through, but for the spirit of those who turn out to cheer the athletes on their quest.

One of the most fulfilling aspects of the Shelter Island 10K is seeing the small groups of people — families and friends — lining the course around the Island, cheering on the runners, giving a boost, as many runners have told us, to help them push past limits and enjoy their moment in the sun.

No records were set for the 40th annual running of the Island’s signature sporting event on June 15, except that the good feeling and peaceful gathering of families and visitors seemed even better than in past years.

The racing gods smiled on us when it came to the weather, with Saturday the definition of a perfect summer’s day.

With the runners’ bright shorts and shirts and many with popsicle-colored shoes, as well as the spectators turned out in their summer Saturday best, the Island was alive with light and color.

We take our hats off to Mary Ellen Adipietro, Dr. Frank Adipietro, Cliff Clark and newcomer Julie Bliss O’Neill, the four individuals, along with the hundreds of volunteers they led, who made Saturday happen. We’ll say it again: Thank you for your time and tireless work. Your community salutes you.

It was a heroic community effort across the board, where individuals, running groups and businesses, the Police Department and town government worked seamlessly for the common good. The crowds of Islanders who showed up and the inspiring athletes of all ages, levels and conditions made it a day to remember.

The Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Read, did a remarkable job — aided by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police — of keeping everyone safe.

Here’s a shout-out to the Highway Department, led by Superintendent Brian Sherman, for making the Island look great and working to clean up after the race was run.

Shelter Island, take a well-deserved bow.