It’s not quite the wide open race that was staged prior to the 2020 pandemic, but when runners and walkers take to the streets of Shelter Island on June 18, it will be the closest return to normal since those days.
Up to 2,000 registrants will be able to participate this year and both the Shelter Island 10K Run and the 5K Run/Walk will follow the usual courses, which Runner’s World magazine calls one of the 10 most beautiful courses in the country.
As in past years, the race has attracted a number of elite runners, winners of major races throughout the world. Organizers are still working on that front for this year’s race, and a list wasn’t yet available.
One good bet is two wheelchair racers will be back again this year — Shelter Island’s own Bill Lehr and his longtime friend and rival, Peter Hawkins of Malverne.
There won’t be the usual registration setup within the Shelter Island School. But late registrants who haven’t received their bibs via mail will be able to claim them from event staff at a FAQ tent outside the Shelter Island High School Gym beginning at 3:30 p.m. Latecomers may participate but can’t be guaranteed a bib number. The 10K begins at 5:30 and the 5K at 5:50 p.m.
There won’t be a pre-race pasta loading dinner the night before the race, nor will there be shuttle buses running from North and South ferries to the Center where the race starts. But those who opt not to drive to the Island will be able to board Hampton Jitney buses at any of four places to reach the race site. Pickups are in Manhattan, Roslyn, Huntington and Farmingville; the round trip cost is $55.
As always, the event is a fundraiser for many local organizations and individuals and teams also raise money for causes they embrace. In addition to fees paid by entrants, many raise funds as a group or individually for various charities. Non-racers who want to contribute to fundraising can do so through events.elitefeats.com website, the same site used to register for either the 10K or 5K.
A feature introduced at the height of the pandemic, virtual racing, will be continued this year with those who race either at a Certified USA Track and Field course; at parks that have measured fitness trails; or any site they choose. They are invited to submit their times to elitefeats.com/results anytime between June 18 and June 26, and may submit up to five pictures as well.
Following the race, Greenport Harbor Brewing will be offering free beer to those 21 or older and food trucks will be available outside the Community Center. Live music is also on the agenda.
Longtime Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro said there will be on-site award presentations.
The top four men and four women will receive prize money of $750, $500, $300 and $150, respectively.
Medals will be awarded to the top three men and women finishers in different age groupings and the winner in each group will receive a complimentary entry into the 2023 race.
Medals will also be presented to the top three men and women participants in the 5K Run/Walk.
Organizers are also seeking support for the Cohen Children’s Medical Center, which provides children’s medical, surgical and dental care. The facility is the largest provider of pediatric health services in New York State, treating more than 450,000 children annually in the region.
Northwell Health is the major sponsor this year and others, besides Greenport Harbor Brewing, are North Fork Surgery Center, Penelope Moore of Saunders Real Estate, The Chequit, Hampton Jitney and the Taranto Family Foundation.