03/17/12 10:00am

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The start of the 2011 Shelter Island 10K race.

Get out your running shoes and start training. It may only be March, but before you know it, the 33rd annual Shelter Island 10K Run/Walk will be on the horizon.

This year’s date is Saturday, June 16 and organizers have chosen the theme “Celebrate London 2012.”

That’s because Shelter Island’s own Amanda Clark and her sailing partner Sarah Lihan will be competing in the women’s 470 races at the Summer Olympics in London. This is Ms. Clark’s second bid for an Olympic medal and is likely her last, she has said.

This year’s 10K proceeds will again go to the Shelter Island 10K Community Fund, East End Hospice and Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch.

Team GoSail, as Ms. Clark and Ms. Lihan call themselves, won’t benefit from the 10K but Ms. Clark’s supporters will be selling T-shirts and other paraphernalia to raise money to support their Olympic challenge, according to 10K Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro.

About 2,000 runners and 5K walkers are expected to converge on the Island for the race, according to Ms. Adipietro.

Among the stars who will be on hand for this year’s 10K are past Olympic headliners Frank Shorter and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Mr. Shorter won the gold medal in the 1972 Munich Olympics marathon and has been credited by USA Track and Field as the driving force in distance running in the United States. He was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984.

Ms. Benoit Samuelson won gold in the first women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and won the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983, the second time breaking a world record.

Perennial favorite Bill Rodgers, four-time winner of both the Boston and New York Marathons between 1975 and 1980, and winner of 22 marathons in his overall career, will return for the Shelter Island race.

Keith Brantly, another accomplished runner whose career has spanned three decades and includes participation in the 1996 Olympics, will also be here.

The Shelter Island Community Fund, a key race beneficiary, has supported numerous programs through the years, Ms. Adipietro said. It annually awards one or more scholarships to Shelter Island High School graduating seniors who have proven to be strong, positive role models for other students. The fund has contributed thousands of dollars to youth programs, including construction of the FIT Center at Shelter Island School, building and maintaining basketball courts, purchasing school sports uniforms, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America activities, exchange programs and drug education workshops.

Funding has also gone to community groups, including the Red Cross, the Mashomack Preserve chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the American Legion, the Historical Society, the Public Library and local senior citizens programming.

A second beneficiary of 10K money is East End Hospice, which provides end of life care and family support for people on Eastern Long Island.

The third beneficiary is Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch in Riverhead, which provides safe haven for boys 10 to 21 who are in need of a therapeutic environment. Ms. Adipietro said she gets numerous requests for funding and can’t honor them all. Individual teams of runners find their own ways, she added, to raise funds at the race for their own good causes.

That’s the case with supporters of a new track at the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District. They couldn’t entice nearby school districts to participate in a fundraising effort to replace the outdated cinder track in Mattituck. Supporters will field a team of runners, each of whom are seeking pledges to support the track project.

To register for the Shelter Island 10K Run/Walk, visit the website at shelterislandrun.com.

12/17/11 12:45pm

COURTESY SAILINGPIX.DX | Sarah Lihan (left) and Amanda Clark competing in Freemantle Harbor in Australia this week. They won a place on the US Olympic sailing team.

“We did it!” was the triumphant message from Shelter Island’s Amanda Clark on Facebook early Saturday morning Eastern Standard Time after she and her crew Sarah Lihan won a berth on the 2012 US Olympic sailing team in Perth, Australia on Saturday.

It will be the second Olympic medal quest for Clark, 29, who started sailing lessons at age 5 at the Shelter Island Yacht Club. She competed in Beijing in 2008 and has been ranked on the U.S. sailing team since 1998. She has represented the nation in 16 world championship events.

Clark-Lihan finished a week of sailing in 12th place in the women’s 470 category among 48 international competitors at the ISAF Sailing World Championships, a close three places ahead of her American competition for the Olympic team, Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar.

After a day off on Friday, Clark-Lihan beat Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar in both races Saturday, finishing 7th to Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar’s 16th in race nine of the week-long competition and 14th in race 10 to Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar’s 17th.

Going in to Saturday’s final two races of the regatta, the teams were in a literal dead heat. Having placed 8th to Clark-Lihan’s 11th in June’s first round of the Olympic trials in Weymouth, England, Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrrar were ranked number-one in the world and had a three-point lead when competition began for the 470-class on Monday.

It was a seesaw battle through the week, with Clark-Lihan doing well on Monday and Tuesday, including a third-place finish, but stumbling on Wednesday, losing two races — one with a 33rd-place finish — on Wednesday. That put them in 16th place, two spots behind Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar.

But they resumed their winning ways on Thursday, finishing 13th and 5th in races seven and eight to Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar’s 16th and 20th. That dropped Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar from 14th to 16th place in the standings on Wednesday.

“We executed our day as planned,” Ms. Clark commented on her Team GOSAIL Facebook page on Thursday, “and now have a small lead in the standings going into the last two scheduled races. Looking forward to an exciting day of racing tomorrow!”

Ms. Clark’s husband Greg Nissen, director of Shelter Island’s Camp Quinipet where he and Ms. Clark live, sent an email to supporters and donors Saturday morning announcing her success:

“I want to drop a quick note to let you know my wife, my amazing wife, Amanda Clark is headed to the Summer 2012 London Olympic Games to represent the USA in the Women’s 470 Sailboat Class — for a second time!” he wrote.

“We thought one Olympics was awesome in 2008, twice is just out of this world! Thanks to all of you who have been checking in, following along at teamgosail.org, praying, cheering etc. etc. for her. A huge shout out goes to her crew Sarah Lihan and a shout out to Sarah Chin for all her work and training as the team developed to the 2008 Games.

[Ms. Chin, Ms. Clark’s former crew, dropped out last year; since then Ms. Clark and Ms. Lihan have had to play catch up as a team with Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar.]

“It is only Amanda and her single crew member on the boat — it goes without saying how critical a great crew is to have. Also, all those who have supported her ‘habit’ by contributing financially — Thank you! You have made it possible for a girl with a dream and drive to live it and win it for us all. She will be home for Christmas and then on to Miami for training in January. Check out www.teamgosail.org for more info, links to Facebook etc. etc. to follow along to the games!”

The winner of the US Olympic spot in the women’s 470 category was the team with the lowest combined overall placement in Perth and the previous Olympic trials in Weymouth, where the 2012 Olympic races will be sailed. Clark-Lihan finished in 11th place there, three places behind Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar.

The women’s 470 regatta in Perth was won by a Spanish boat followed by teams from Israel, Great Britain, New Zealand and Japan.

Clark-Lihan in 12th place were the top finishers of three American 470 teams, with Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar close behind at 15th and Cara Vavolotis and Lara Dallman Weiss in last place of the 48 boats.

12/13/11 9:45am

TEAM GOSAIL PHOTO | Amanda Clark at the helm of a 470.

After four of seven races to be held this week in Perth Australia, Shelter Island’s Amanda Clark and her sailing partner Sarah Lihan on Tuesday continued to hold the lead over their United States competitors, Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar, in their battle for a place on the 2012 US Olympics sailing team.

After Tuesday’s two races Down Under, Ms. Clark and Ms. Lihan were in seventh place among all international competitors with Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar team  in 19th place.

After Clark-Lihan’s fifth place standing on Monday, Tuesday’s results keep them well ahead but with the gap between them and Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar significantly narrowed.

Clark-Lihan scored a 15-16 in Tuesday’s two races while world number-one ranked Maxwell (of Wilton, Connecticut) and Kinsolving Farrar (of New York City and Fishers Island) finished 6-19 to climb up to 19th overall.

On Monday, their first day of sailing in Perth, Clark-Lihan scored a 12th in the first race  and 3rd in the second to finish 5th overall in the 48-boat fleet.

The winner of the US Olympic team spot in the women’s 470 category will be the team with the lowest combined overall placement determined by the races being sailed in Perth and the previous Olympic trials held in June in Weymouth, England, where the 2012 Olympic races will be sailed.

Ms. Clark and Ms. Lihan placed 11th overall in the Weymouth races, behind Ms. Maxwell and Ms. Kinsolving Farrar, who finished eighth. In case of a tie after Perth results are included, the boat with the better finish in Australia will take the spot.

“Day 2! Tough day on the water with more rain showers and large clouds influencing the wind on the course,” Ms. Clark wrote on her Facebook page. “We feel good about our day. In both races [on Tuesday], we battled back to end the day with a 15, 16. We have 2 more races before a lay day.”

The fifth and sixth races in Perth will be sailed beginning at 1:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday. Races can be tracked at http://static.sportresult.com/federations/isaf/Sailing/raceviewer/index.php?v=25&id=503c9387-66e7-4773-ac45-90867ca9a8dd&event=82.