GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | After the starting gun at the 2011 Shelter Island 5K Run/Walk.
They were young and old. They were fit and thin and not so very. They crossed the finish line alone, arms raised high. They crossed it walking hand in hand, in wheelchairs or pushing strollers.
A record 525 participants made it across the finish line at the 12th annual Shelter Island 5K Run/Walk at Crescent Beach this past Saturday, held to promote awareness of women’s breast health issues on the East End and to raise money for the cause.
This year’s overall winner was Bryan Knipfing of Miller Place, a former Shelter Island resident who broke the tape in 18:05.
Local runner Tara Wilson led the women in 20:39. Sally Monahan of Southold was the fastest breast cancer survivor with a time of 33:58. Island running legend Janelle Kraus Nadeau did not participate this year.
Reprising his popular role as the big pink bunny, race announcer Ken Lewis perched atop a fire department ladder basket and encouraged runners down the final stretch. He later served as award ceremony emcee.
While Knipfing and Wilson didn’t set any course records — in fact, they came in with times that were slower than those of last year’s winners — event organizers said that other important records were broken on Saturday.
The sunny skies and comfortable temperatures brought out 585 registrants, with only 60 not completing the event. Last year fewer than 400 took part. The extraordinary surge in participation took the volunteers by surprise. “This is the first year we have ever run out of goodie bags and T-shirts,” said Patti Bumstead, a member of the 5K Committee.
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Members of Team Teresa celebrate after the race.
A record also was set for the largest team to compete: 52 runners in Teresa’s Team, honoring Shelter Island resident Teresa Montant, who is battling breast cancer. Four other teams, totaling more than 75 members, also competed in honor of breast cancer patients and survivors.
“The real winners each year are women in the East End communities,” commented Mary Ellen Adipietro, the race organizer, “including those already diagnosed with breast cancer and thousands of women who heed the event’s underlying message to have regular breast examinations. Our 5K race is proof-positive that we can all work together to beat this terrible disease.”
Ms. Montant set a record herself by securing $3,305 in pledges for her participation in the race, narrowly edging out Linda Zavatto, who raised $3,116. Both women received gift certificates at local restaurants Sweet Tomato’s and Vine Street respectively, for their efforts.
Not surprisingly, the event also set a record for funds raised.
JANINE MAHONEY PHOTO | These students packed 500 bags for the 5K Run/Walk at the Youth Center before the race last week: From the left, Corey Brewer, Chandler Olinkiewicz, Corrine Mahoney, Keri Ann Mahoney, Tara Sturges, Briana Reitvelt, Matt Murphy, Thomas Mysliborski, Katy Binder, Haley Willumsen, Alex Graffagnino and Kelsey McGayhey.
“We’re over $20,000 and still counting,” said Ms. Adipietro. “It is by far the most money we’ve raised and will go a long way toward funding the three groups we support.” The Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Southampton Hospital, the North Fork Breast Health Coalition and Lucia’s Room, a special room in Southampton Hospital for late-stage cancer patients and their families created by Lucia’s Angels, all benefit from race proceeds. In its 12-year history, the annual event has raised more than $240,000 for North and South Fork women’s cancer coalitions.
More than 40 local volunteers and a long list of sponsors and businesses were involved in race planning, logistics and execution. Personal and corporate sponsors underwrote everything from the food (Gino and Diane Peronace of the Shelter Island IGA) to the commemorative T-shirts emblazoned with the event’s slogan, “I am the Cure” (The Clark and Bumstead familes) to participant medals (J.W. Piccozzi and Frank J. Adipetro, M.D.).
A pre-race stretching clinic was organized by Erica Doyle and post-race massages were contributed by Holly Cronin and Cassandra Bliss. The Girl Scouts, Brownies and Daisies staffed water stations. Chef Tom Hashagen and his BOCES students worked the barbecue that was held in the parking lot of Sunset Beach Hotel & Restaurant, another benefactor.
Other sponsors included Costello Marine Corporation, Reza Nouranian Design, Tom Cronin, Anne and Howard Loeffler, Eastern Long Island Hematology/Oncology, East End Cardiology, Merrill Lynch, Gubbins Running Ahead, Connie and Woody Fischer and Sally and Larry Winston, among many others.
The names and places of all finishers and their times are available at: