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Shelter Island is poised for Saturday’s 43rd annual running of its great summer race

Favorite son Kal Lewis— and one of the greatest Shelter Island athletes ever — returns home to compete in Saturday’s 43rd Annual Shelter Island 10K after continuing his winning ways at the University of Iowa. In both individual and team events, Kal has demonstrated strength in contributing to Iowa’s performances at Big 10 Championships and in other competitions.

He’s hoping to emerge a leader on his home course Saturday.

Elitefeats race organizer Brendan Dagan has identified five other elite runners — Jordan Daniel, Fikadu Girma Teferi, Urgessa Kedir, Guillermo Pineda Morales and Hirut Guangul — who will be stepping off in the 10K Saturday.

This year’s event has been limited to 2,000 participants.

Registration closes at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. Racers who registered but do not get their bibs in the mail will be able to pick them up outside the school entrance to the gymnasium, but there will be no indoor registration. Others who want to participate may do so, but can’t be guaranteed to receive a bib.

When participants line up to race in the 43rd Annual Shelter Island 10K on June 18, it will be with a special dedication to a man who ran practically every 10K since the inception of the event, John Howard “Jack” Byington Jr. Mr. Byington, who claimed honors in many races on Shelter Island and other courses, died on June 9, 2021 at 89.

Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro called Mr. Byington a person with “a true passion for the sport and a deep commitment to health and wellness.” He served on the Board of Directors of the race, and first ran the course in 1980 and continued to run it for 32 years. Even after he stopped racing, he supported the event and, decked out in a 10K shirt, always came out to see other athletes.

“We’re thrilled he’ll be honored this year with the race dedication in his name,” Ms. Adipietro said.

Wheelchair racers start off first with race time for the 10K runners at 5:30 p.m. Participants in the 5K Run/Walk start at 5:50 p.m.

Auto accident sidelines racer

Sadly, it was learned from race organizers that a participant from previous Shelter Island and other top races was in a motor vehicle accident and has spinal injuries.

Nuhamin Bogale, an internationally-ranked athlete from Ethiopia, was a World Junior Gold Medalist. In 2019, she placed sixth among female runners in the Shelter Island 10K and 16th among all racer.

There have been several GoFundMe campaigns to assist Ms. Bogale with medical expenses and Ms. Adipietro said she plans to start a campaign after the 2022 event ends.

Beer, food and awards

Greenport Harbor Brewing will provide free beer to racers following the event and there will be an award ceremony outside. Northwell Health is the prime event sponsor and others are the Daniel Gale Foundation, the Chequit, Hampton Jitney, North Fork Surgery Center, Penelope Moore from Saunders, Freshouse and the Taranto Family Foundation.

Food trucks will be on hand.

For information on virtual participation, bus transportation and other logistics, visit elitefeats.com/shelterisland22.

Info Box

43rd Annual Shelter Island 10K Run/5K Run/Walk

• Saturday, June 18

• 10K runners start at 5:30 outside Shelter Island School

• 5K Run/Walk starts at 5:50 p.m.

• Bus transportation from four stops available via Hampton Jitney from Manhattan, Roslyn, Huntington and Farmingville •

Register at elitefeats.com/ShelterIsland22