The view from the start, as the runners head south on South Street.
There is something special every year about the Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor's Oyster Festival 5 Kilometer Run. Maybe it's the kind of party atmosphere that pervades festival weekend in Oyster Bay. But this year local runners were treated to a brand new course that really shows off the Oyster Bay area at its best, featuring a long climb up Berry Hill Road followed by an exhilarating descent down Sandy Hill Road to the finish. Whatever it is, there were lots of happy faces at the start and at the finish.
The weatherman obviously was a factor this year. After eight straight days of rains - including a torrential downpour the day before the run that left Berry Hill Road and South Street pretty much underwater, the rains stopped early Saturday morning and the weather gradually cleared by 9 a.m. Saturday morning.
Top finishers overall were 23-year-old Bellmore Striders speedster Matt Usenski, who finished in 16 minutes 10 seconds, and women's winner Lyndsey Webber of Sayville, also 23 years old, who scored in 18:11.
The top local finisher was John Lovejoy of Oyster Bay, 12th overall and first in the 40-44 age group. Top local female finisher was Tracy Kemper of Oyster Bay, who scored 2nd in the 40-44 age group.
Other local residents winning awards included 10-year-old Arden Epps of East Norwich (2nd 14 and under), 13-year-old Maria Moreno of East Norwich (3rd 14 and under), Brian Dillman of Oyster Bay (4th 14 and under), John Henry Dupre of Oyster Bay (3rd 15-19), Joan Ferris of Oyster Bay (5th 20-24), Karen Hoy of Bayville (2nd 30-34), Debra Barbera of East Norwich (5th 30-34), Colleen Puccio of Oyster Bay (5th 35-39), Carol McNamara of Oyster Bay (3rd 45-49), Pamela Smith of Oyster Bay (2nd 50-54), Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay (1st 55-59), Elizabeth Penagos of Oyster Bay (2nd 55-59), Nina Jennings of Mill Neck (1st 70-74), and Arnold Juzefovic of Locust Valley (4th 70-74).
Special congratulations go to the 18 teachers from the Oyster Bay - East Norwich School District, who ran to honor the memory of the late Sal Pipitone, a school district administrator and avid marathoner, and to raise funds for the scholarship fund that has been established in his memory. The teachers all ran wearing grey shirts that said "For Sal" on them, and each of them donated their time in dollars to the Fund (e.g. Kevin Cotter's 19:13 time translated into a $19.13 donation).
The run was conducted under the auspices of the Town of Oyster Bay and Town Supervisor John Venditto, and was managed by the Town's Recreation Department in conjunction with Greater Long Island Running Club. Thanks go to the Nassau County Police Department and its outstanding Second Precinct, to the Auxiliary Police, to John Snitko of JMS Racing Services, to the generous folks from Whole Foods Market of Manhasset and to the dozens of enthusiastic volunteers - all of whom are essential to the success of the Run.
"This event is what running and road racing is supposed to be all about," observed Mindy Davidson, coordinator of volunteers for the Greater Long Island Running Club. "The beautiful scenery, the beautiful fall day, the great turnout of recreational runners - all make for a super morning! Our thanks go to Supervisor Venditto and the town for making it all possible!"