Friday, 11 September 2009 00:00
Notwithstanding some very precarious weather forecasts for the weekend of Aug. 29 and 30, Hurricane Danny turned out not to have the impact that everyone feared, and more than 1,500 athletes, ranging in age from eight to 80, participated in the 22nd annual Runner’s Edge-Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, Tri-Relay and Junior Triathlon, and there were no end of smiling faces at the finish line.
Among the top finishers was 30-year-old Peter Ventura of Glen Cove, who finished in sixth place overall with a time of 1 hour, 3 minutes, 19 seconds.
The main event on Sunday was preceded by 200-plus youngsters participating in the Runner’s Edge-Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon in the park on Saturday.
“These youngsters are the future of our sport and our nation, and with childhood obesity and childhood diabetes reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, I find it personally gratifying that we are able to attract so many youngsters to participate,” noted Greater Long Island Island Running Club President Mike Polansky. “Many, many families were on hand on both Saturday and Sunday, with the kids participating on Saturday while their parents volunteered and mom and dad competing on Sunday. That’s the kind of family togetherness that we are proud to be able to foster.”
The main charitable beneficiary of the 2009 Runner’s Edge-Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the fight against blood cancers. In addition to making a substantial financial donation to the Long Island Chapter of the Society out of the proceeds of the Triathlon, race organizers gave free entries to this year’s Triathlon to more than 50 Leukemia Society “Team in Training” fundraisers. Another portion of the proceeds goes to the Gerald Kaufman Memorial Fund, dedicated to providing assistance to Long Island runners and multi-sport athletes in times of sudden financial need. This year’s event was once again dedicated to Gerald’s memory.
The Triathlon was once again conducted under the auspices of the Town of Oyster Bay, with TOB Recreation Supervisor Diane Ramos serving as the town’s coordinator for the event. The Greater Long Island Running Club, under the direction of Triathlon Co-Directors Jose Lopez and Ray Farrell, provided event management. The key business sponsor was the Farmingdale running and multi-sport specialty store The Runner’s Edge, owned by Bob Cook, himself a longtime runner and triathlete. Other business sponsors included Steve Kristel and Babylon Bike Shop.
On hand to lend their support to the athletes were Oyster Bay Town Councilwomen Rose Marie Walker and Beth Faughnan, and “President Theodore Roosevelt” was at the start at the marina to send each wave of athletes off with a “bully” speech.
Thanks also went out to the Atlantic Steamer and Oyster Bay Fire Departments, the Nassau County Police Department, the Town of Oyster Bay’s Public Safety Department.
“We were awfully worried on Thursday and Friday about whether or not the event could proceed as planned,” stated Triathlon Co-Director Ray Farrell. “But Mother Nature cooperated, and we had what I honestly believe to have been the best Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon in our 22 year history.”