Seventeen-year-old Javier Cuevas of North Bergen, New Jersey outkicked Scott Kessler of Cold Spring Harbor and John Lovejoy of Oyster Bay to win the 15th annual edition of the Vytra-TOBAY Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay on Sunday morning, Aug. 18. Cuevas, who won the event in 2001 as well, crossed the finish line in 57 minutes, 28 seconds, comfortably in front of Kessler, who finished in 58:55 and Lovejoy, who crossed the finish line at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in 59:20.
Karen Schechter of Farmingdale heads out on the bike leg of the Tri.
Special congratulations to 17-year-old wheelchair athlete Jesse Walsh, who completed the event with a hand cycle on the bike leg and a racing wheelchair on the run leg, completing the course in 1:53:12.
Top local area athletes included Robert Spina of Massapequa, who finished in seventh place overall and took second-place honors in the 35-39 age group, Peter Hogarty of Farmingdeale, 19th overall and third in the 35-39 age group, Shane Strumwasser of Massapequa Park, who scored second among the athletes age 14 and under, Kevin Burke of Massapequa, first in the 20-24 age group and Frank La Magna of Massapequa, who scored third in the 20-24 age group.
Nearly 1,400 athletes finished the 1 kilometer swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, 15 kilometer bike through Oyster Bay Cove and 5 kilometer run up to the Planting Fields Arboretum and back to the finish in Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, continuing Vytra-TOBAY's record as the largest triathlon in the New York Metropolitan area.
Proceeds of the Vytra-TOBAY Triathlon go to the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Oyster Bay-based Friends of the Bay,
This year's triathlon was conducted by the Town of Oyster Bay's Department of Recreation and Parks and managed by the Greater Long Island Running Club, with Vytra Health Plans returning as the much welcome corporate title sponsor. Steve Winkler, once again, did a bang-up job as the director of the triathlon, as did David Katz of Finish Line Road Race Technicians as the technical director. Commissioner Edward Kennedy and the staff at the Town of Oyster Bay's Department of Recreation and Parks, Bryan Vanderveer and the staff at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, Buddy Winslow and the Town's Lifeguard staff and the Bay Constable and his staff, were all essential to the success of the event.
The Emergency Medical Team from Oyster Bay Fire Company #1 was once again on hand, to assure the health and safety of the participants, and also the Nassau County Police Department's 2nd Precinct and the Auxiliary Police. Coordinators of Volunteers Mindy Davidson and Sherry Bellovin led a crew of 150 volunteers from the Greater Long Island Running Club who staffed the event.
"We were thrilled with the turnout, thrilled with the victories of Javier and Barbara and thrilled with the backing of Vytra Health Plans and the Town of Oyster Bay for what has become one of the biggest and best triathlons in the Northeastern United States," noted Triathlon Director Steve Winkler. "The Vytra-TOBAY Triathlon gets bigger and better every year. That's a continuing tribute to the fact that triathlons in general continue to grow in popularity and the equally important fact that Vytra Health Plans, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and the Oyster Bay Town Board all recognize the importance of promoting physical fitness and recreational sports. We thank them all for their continued support for Long Island physical fitness programs!"