A hundred teams of eight runners each toed the starting line at the 16th annual Ocean to Sound Relay at Jones Beach State Park on Sunday morning, Sept. 23, and 97 of them survived the 50-mile journey to cross the finish line at Fireman's Field in Oyster Bay many hours later.
Syosset speedster Robis DeGirmenci finishes the anchor leg for the host Greater Long Island Running Club's men's racing team.
Top honors went to the Pennsylvania-based Garland Construction Company team that had also won the 1999 edition of the event. Garland crossed the finish line in 4:38:44, scoring three minutes in front of the second place team from The Runner's Edge in Farmingdale. The Runner's Edge took top honors in the Women's Division in 5:33:46, comfortably in front of the Women's Team from the host Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIC). The Men's Masters Division was won by the Super Runners Shop team, and the Greater Long Island Running Club Masters topped the Women's Master Division.
The Suffolk County Police Department running team took top honors in an understandably depleted Law Enforcement Division, with a very emotional team from the New York City Fire Department finishing second.
This year's relay was considerably different from those of previous years. It was conducted in the shadow of two buildings that no longer exist, and any heroics and athletic accomplishments of the relay seemed against the background of the heroics of Sept. 11.
Nevertheless, the race organizers from the GLIRC take pride in the fact that, under the circumstances, they were able to hold the relay at all this year, and take special pride in the fact that they were able to raise considerable sums for the "New York Bravest Fund" to provide scholarships for the children of those brave firefighters who were lost in the World Trade Center disaster. Thanks goes to everyone who made extra contributions to that fund.
The relay covers a lot of Long Island territory, starting at Jones Beach State Park, heading north and then east through Wantagh, Seaford, Massapequa and Massapequa Park, then north again through Farmingdale, Old Bethpage, Plainview and Huntington, and then west through Cold Spring Harbor and Oyster Bay to the finish.
Congratulations and thanks to relay directors Alan and Sharon End of the host Greater Long Island Running Club for another outstanding job in making the relay the best that it could be, to Steve Rand for his efforts in staging the post-Relay Party, to David Katz of Finish Line Road Race Technicians for a very full day's work indeed, to the outstanding men and women of the Nassau County Police Department, Suffolk County Police Department, and Auxiliary Police for making the 2001 safe as well as fun, to Moonstruck, the talented band that made the party a smashing success, to Joe King, the proprietor of Antun Caterers in Queens Village for his generosity in donating the services of the band, to the Town of Oyster Bay for the Showmobile, to Oyster Bay Town Councilman Leonard Symons for his very moving words at the Awards Ceremony, and to Bill Whitcomb of Whitson's for the catering at the party.