Friday, 11 September 2009 00:00
Notwithstanding some very precarious weather forecasts for the weekend of August 29 and 30, Hurricane Danny turned out not to have the impact that everyone feared, and more than 1500 athletes, ranging in age from 8 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.
Top local performers were Michael Di Donato of Massapequa, who charged out of the water in first place and turned in tough bike and run legs to score in 7th place overall in 1 hour, 3 minutes, 38 seconds, Brendan Mims of Massapequa Park, 8th overall in 1:4:49, Erica Fregosi of Massapequa, 1st Athena 140-159 Weight Division (1:28:29), Victoria Belegrino of Massapequa Park, 1st woman 20-24 age group (1:22:47), Michael Signorelli of Massapequa, 1st 40-44 age group (1:08:51), Lorraine Heuther of Massapequa, 3rd woman 50-54 age group (1:25:06), and Melissa Kennedy of Amityville, 1st woman 60-64 age group (1:32:34).
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,” said Greater Long 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 Tri, race organizers gave free entries to this year’s Triathlon to more than 50 Leukemia Society “Team in Training” fund-raisers. 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.
“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.”