Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00
With picture perfect weather in beautiful Oyster Bay, the 23rd annual Runner’s Edge - TOBAY Triathlon on Sunday, Aug. 26 was perhaps the most successful ever. The sharp contrast between the beautiful weather this year and the need to cancel the 2011 event because of Hurricane Irene makes you think that Mother Nature “owed us one” and repaid the debt in 2012.
Tom Eickelberg of Babylon scored his third consecutive winning performance, crossing the finish line at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in a race record of 54 minutes, 58 seconds – excellent time for this ½ mile swim, 15 kilometer bike and 5 kilometer run.
In a very dramatic finish, Michele Henschel of Long Beach held off Karen Pompay of Garden City by 12 seconds to take top honors. Michele was well ahead after the swim, but Karen gave her a great battle on the bike and run.
Top finishers from the local area were 16-year-old Sean Kelly of Oyster Bay, who scored as 27th finisher OA and 3rd in the 14-19 age group, and Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, who was the 5th female finisher overall.
Other local award winners were Enno Deroos of Oyster Bay (2nd 45-49 age group), Andrea Morisco of Locust Valley (2nd Athena Open, 140-159 weight division), Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley (1st Athena Masters 140-159 Age Group), Barbara Butler of Oyster Bay (3rd woman 50-54 age group), Maria Ehlinger of Oyster Bay (5th woman 50-54 age group), Rob Bartlotti of Oyster Bay (5th 55-59 age group), Dan O’Connell of Oyster Bay (3rd in the 60-64 age group), Jeri Cavagnaro of Locust Valley (1st woman 65-69 age group).
Special mention to the third place “Family Team”, from Bayville, “Ed’s Team,” with Christine Quigley and her sister Kathleen Schuckman, and Christine’s husband Steve Quigley participating to honor the memory of Christine and Kathleen’s dad Ed Stark, who died on May 24.
Special mention also needs to be made of wheelchair athlete Peter Hawkins, who completed the entire event for the first time.
Congratulations and thanks to Event co-Directors Jose Lopez and Ray Farrell for another job very well done indeed, and to Event co-Coordinators Mindy Davidson and Linda Ottaviano for making sure that every detail was attended to; to Logistics Coordinator Fred von der Heydt and his set-up crew; and to Medical Director Dr. Kenneth Ong. An incredible number of volunteers were on hand to assure the success of the event.
The Triathlon was once again conducted by the Greater Long Island Running Club under the auspices of the Town of Oyster Bay, with TOBAY Recreation Supervisor Diane Ramos serving as the town’s coordinator for the event. The key business sponsor was the Farmingdale running and multisport specialty store The Runner’s Edge, owned by Bob Cook, himself a long time runner and triathlete. Other business sponsors included Steve Kristel and his South Edison Restaurant, the exciting new addition to the Montauk dining scene, Babylon Bike (thank you Mike Montastero and Doug Williamson), answering the cycling and multisport needs of Long Island for over 30 years., and All Round Foods and its incredibly generous CEO Glen Wolther for the donation of all the great baked goods.
Thanks as well to Cascadian Farms, Power Bar and Dole for their generous donations of food products.
We hope everyone enjoyed the post-race beer from Blue Point Brewery and its proprietor friend, Peter Cotter.
On hand to lend their support to the athletes were Oyster Bay Town Councilwoman Beth Faughnan, Nassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker, and New York State Assemblyman Michael Montesano. “President Theodore Roosevelt” (Jim Foote) was at the start at the Marina to send each wave of athletes off with a “bully” speech.
Thanks also go to the Atlantic Steamer and Oyster Bay Fire Departments, the Nassau County Police Department, the Oyster Bay Cove Police Department, the Town of Oyster Bay’s Public Safety Department, and Event Announcer Terry Bisogno.
The main charitable beneficiary of the 2012 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, the GLIRC was pleased to provide free entries to this year’s Triathlon to the LLS “Team in Training” fundraisers, and all the “tips” collected at the beer truck ($600) went to LLS as well. In addition, the Club will be making a substantial contribution to an important Oyster Bay community-based charity — the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay. Another portion of the proceeds goes to the Gerald Kaufman Memorial Fund, dedicated to providing assistance to Long Island runners and multisport athletes in times of sudden financial need. This year’s event was once again dedicated to Gerald’s memory. In addition, this year for the first time, the club will be making a substantial contribution to Island Harvest and their efforts to feed Long Island’s needy.