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Updated: 7/18/2008 - 2:06 PM



10K back on track
Runners return with June date but heat, humidity take a toll
  6 comments below

“Shelter Island is back,” back on the map, that is, as a 1,000-plus participant road race, Shelter Island Run co-founder Cliff Clark declared after Saturday's 10K run and 5K community walk.

The race returned to June with a bang — a 50 percent increase in runners and walkers over last year's cool turnout in May. But it also came with an unusually high number of medical emergencies related to heat and dehydration. One of those emergencies came when an experienced Russian female runner, the leading woman into the Fiske Field homestretch, became disoriented and fell only about 30 yards from the finish line.

Ethiopians win

Worku Beyi, 21, of Ethiopia, one of several elite runners making return appearances to the Island 10K, won the 29th annual Island race in 29:49; he took second in 2006. He was in the middle or back of a pack of six runners that led 1,252 participants from the start of the race in front of the Shelter Island School. They rounded the turn from North Ferry to St. Mary's Road together and became a pack of five that eventually stretched out on the flat of Ram Island Road past Paard Hill before the turn up Cobbett's Lane.

Beyi and fellow Ethiopian Demesse Tefera, 25, moved on as the original pack disintegrated into a line of runners led by just two. Beya and Tefera are familiar rivals who alternate first and second place finishes; on Saturday, they often ran with identical strides. By the time the pair reached the bridge over Gardiners Creek, no other runners were in sight.

They swapped slight leads on the return to North Ferry Road but were side by side entering Midway Road and the last uphill push to the finish at Fiske Field. Beyi had the edge at the end, reaching the finish line just 4 seconds ahead of Tefera. Finishing out the top five were Deresse Deniboba of Ethiopia, 30:22, Theophilas Musyoki Musyoka of Kenya, 30:29, and in the top bracket for the third year in a row, 34-year-old John Itati of Kenya, 30:57.

Aziza Aliyu, 22, of Ethiopia, placed first for the women but appeared exhausted and moaned as she crossed the finish line. She was smiling an hour later at the awards ceremony but later that evening after the post-race party, 10K medical staff made a house call to her room at the Dering Harbor Inn. She was suffering from dehydration according to Dr. Frank Adipietro.

Silvia Skvortsova of Russia led the women up to the end when she collapsed. The 33-year-old finished the first mile in a blistering 4:45, just three seconds off the male winner's time and an unsustainable pace for a 10K, race co-founder Cliff Clark said Monday. “We cautioned the runners to respect the last part of the race,” he said. “Those who haven't been patient pay the price” on the final three-quarter mile, which is all uphill.

“We could feel it was a little warm,” Mr. Clark commented, so the race organizers encouraged the runners to hydrate prior to the start and re-hydrate during the race. But many elites pressed on past the water stations.

Finishing a minute behind Aliyu was Diane Nukuri in 35:16. She trains in Iowa with the husband of Islander Alexis Hamblett and will run for her home country of Burundi in the Beijing Olympics. Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia finished third in 36:15 followed by East End runner Caroline Bierbaum of Southampton, 36:26, and Lyndsey Webber of Sayville in 38:11.

Other divisions

Diane Kenna of New York City took the female Masters division in 40:16. Finishing second for the second year in a row was marathon headliner Kim Jones followed by last year's Masters winner and 10K Board member Barbara Gubbins.

Kenyan Paul Mwangi, a familiar face at the race, took the male Masters division for the second straight year. He won his first Island 10K in 2002 and took a top five finish each subsequent year before entering the Masters, a division for serious runners over age 40. Piotr Karasiewicz of Brooklyn came in second and Stephen Marsalese of Rye Brook finished out the top three Masters.

Jesse Walsh of Huntington, the 2006 wheelchair champ, took that division again this year in 31:35, the fastest wheelchair time since repeat champ Peter Hawkins' win in 2003; Hawkins of Malverne took second this year. Finishing out the field were Adam Cruz (13) of Brentwood, Islander William Lehr, Luis Pulguachi (11) of Corona and Sonia Seehra (14)of Holliswood.

Members of Rolling Thunder, a non-profit organization supporting developmentally disabled athletes, crossed the finish line — some with aids, others on their own — to cheers from the spectators. A few came in after the awards ceremony started and announcer Don Bindler interrupted the presentation of medals to acknowledge them.

Lehr was the first Shelter Island resident to cross the finish line and did so in 38:16. Lauren Laviola, 26, was the first-place woman with a Shelter Island registration. Other top Island runners are listed on page 51.

Weather inviting, risky

The weather was comfortable for spectators at shady spots along the course but warm temperatures combined with humidity dehydrated many runners. Over 15 participants including two unconscious runners were treated in the medical tent at Fiske Field, compared to just three or four runners needing assistance during May 10Ks.

The warm race day weather prompted organizers to scramble Saturday afternoon to add 45 cases of water to supplies at the finish line, Mr. Clark said. He thanked volunteers from Timothy Hill Ranch and East End Hospice for pitching in.

According to finish line technician David Katz, a total of 1,084 registrants finished the 10K and 168 completed the 5K walk. The number of registrations that were mailed in, logged online or entered the day of the race (estimated at 300) is expected to total 1,500, a marked increase over May races in recent years; last year a rainy forecast limited turnout to under 800 registrants.

“We've gotten emails galore” praising the event, Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro said Monday. Newcomers commented on the “wonderful” people of Shelter Island and returning runners said “‘thanks for bringing it back to June,'” according to Ms. Adipietro.

“I cannot overstate Mary Ellen's involvement,” Mr. Clark said after publicly thanking the race director and all of the organizers and volunteers during Saturday's awards ceremony. 10K Board member Harry Hackett, the first board member to finish the race Saturday, was credited with enlarging the elite field, particularly for his involvement in bringing headliners Keith Brantly and Kim Pawelek to the race. Ms. Pawelek's story of escaping as a child on the last plane out of Saigon was one of many race stories worth telling, Mr. Clark said during the awards ceremony. Pawelek finished in sixth for females overall.

“What a wonderful race this was,” Mr. Brantly said at the awards ceremony, adding that it was “a little hot, a little humid.” He thanked the race sponsors, businesses and individuals who fund the race and donate everything from the T-shirts to the portable toilets. Conspicuous among them this year was new sponsor JetBlue, whose blue pendants and banners appeared above water stations and the awards stage.

Mr. Brantly, who said he “started late,” meaning in the back of the pack, finished 92nd but more than held up his pre-race offer to donate $1 dollar for each runner who finished ahead of him. He upped the total to $200, saying, “I look forward to coming back next year for the 30th.”

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6 comments found

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TeMsdQzNrfPuvc : 12/3/2012
+1 for swim being the trickiest poriotn. If you come out of the water relaxed, confident, and with plenty of fuel in the tank, you've done a great job in the first leg no matter what your pace.* Start out in the back of the pack, and on the outside of the first turn. Even if you have to swim a tad bit farther, it beats getting kicked and clawed as an open-water novice. If you're fast, you'll move forward in relatively clear and calm water. If you're not fast, why bother even being in the scrum in the first place? * Learn to breathe bilaterally so that you have options if there's a lot of chop in the water from someone else's movement on either side of you.* Have a resting stroke (breaststroke, side stroke) or simply the ability to comfortably float face down and motionless (survival float) in the water in your repertoire, just in case you tire. The face-up versions of these things are not nearly as reliable in a competition situation you can't see where you're going or who you're swimming right into when you backstroke, you'll often take in water breathing when you backfloat, and you can't effectively see or communicate with the safety staff from a face-up position.* Know how and when to accept help. Don't be too proud to hang off the floatation devices that are provided to assist competitors in the event of fatigue and cramping if you need to take a break. Wave your swim cap if you need for safety staff to head your way. If your distress eases, you can always keep going, but it's better to ask for assistance too early rather than too late.Sorry to be so safety-focused, but we just suffered the tragic loss of a first-time competitor during the swim leg of a major triathlon last weekend in Philly. If you bonk during a marathon, you walk or sit down. If you pass out, other people will see you in distress. Open-water swimming is a completely different animal. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the more serious your problem in the water, the more quickly you can vanish out of view entirely.No triathlon would let you compete without wearing a helmet during the bike leg. Before you even start thinking about the pros and cons of all the various types of swim paraphernalia, make sure you don't get in the water without your core safety equipment your open-water survival skills.




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pMnJcxoeohRiIqQjICU : 11/22/2012
I did my first tri, a reverse snprit (swim last) this spring three weeks post Boston because I had done so much cross training due to an injury, the tri sounded like a break from routine and it was fun. Got some basic tri-suit gear off the Internet and swore any race in open water and/or with a wet suit was more competitive/expensive than I was willing to try right now.I was able to soar through the 5K no problem, but found that I really need to spend more time on the bike, since that's really the only place I can shave significant time off in a snprit distance due to the time spent on that leg.Surprise: How many people don't know how to swim. That's not me and 400 m in an Olympic pool is an easy distance for me. It makes it difficult to pass when the people are trying to do breaststroke or flailing around.What I would have done differently: Probably arriving earlier for better positioning in the transition area. I was close to the swim exit, but having to run with a bike and in bike shoes is not so easy.Advice: Start with the short distance. I don't do 5Ks for philosophical and budgetary reasons, but tagging a 14 mile bike ride and a quarter mile swim on at the end makes it more interesting. I will do my second tri at the end of the summer to measure any improvement, and then work on my fall marathon. I'm really wondering how that might help me for the 26.2.













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