Shelter Island witnessed a heroic community effort on Saturday, June 17, when individuals, organizations, the Police Department and town government worked seamlessly for the common good.
They, along with the crowds of Islanders — and runners and fans from as far afield as Europe and Ethiopia — who showed up on a less-than-perfect summer day to take part in the 10K, and the inspiring athletes of all age levels and conditions, made it a day to remember.
The Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jim Read, did a remarkable job — aided by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police — of keeping everyone safe without ham-handed tactics.
Compromising liberty for security is an ongoing national debate. On an albeit small, local level, the Police Department nevertheless showed how both ideals can work together with a minimum of friction.
Procedures were thought through before being implemented. The department got the word out early and often about security procedures, so people knew what to expect. Everyone was aware of the security presence, but no one was threatened by it.
Even the officers stopping traffic for inspections or directing motorists toward detours were courteous, informative and professional.
Those volunteers helping race participants at the school during registration and the happy crowd at the after-race party are to be congratulated for their selfless efforts and miles of smiles.
The sport of long distance running is done outside, and not in enclosed stadiums with digitized beer ads and a trip to the concession stand requiring a preliminary meeting with your financial consultant.
Shelter Island is perfect for the sport of distance racing.
Not just for the physical beauty, but for the spirit of those who turn out to cheer the athletes on their quests.
Elsewhere in this edition of the Reporter you’ll read praise for Mary Ellen Adipietro, Dr. Frank Adipietro, and others — 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.
Shelter Island salutes you.