One of the most highly anticipated races of the East End season comes to The Rock this weekend, with the 37th annual running of the Shelter Island 10K on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
The race has a long and storied history, drawing professional runners and Olympians from all over the world. This year, participants will be able to race alongside Bill Rodgers, better known as Marathon Bill, a former Olympian, four-time New York City Marathon winner and four-time Boston marathon winner; Joan Benoit Samuelson, who became the first-ever women’s Olympic marathon champion when she won the event at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984; as well as George A. Hirsch, the Chairman of the Board of New York Road Runners, who organizes the New York City Marathon and is the publisher of popular running magazine, Runner’s World.
“George and Bill will present race-goers with a unique challenge,” says , race director of the Shelter Island Run. All who are at the race that day are invited to guess what the duo’s combined time will be. The closest answer will receive a prize.
Noticeably absent from the elite field is Meb Keflezighi, the 2014 Boston Marathon winner, 2012 Olympic Marathon silver medalist and 2009 New York City Marathon winner. “He only joins us when he’s not in the Olympics,” jokes Adipietro. Keflezighi qualified for the US Olympic marathon team and is currently training for the Rio Olympics.
In addition to the 10K, the Shelter Island Run will also incorporate a Kids Fun Run, which kicks off at 4 p.m., as well as a 5K run/walk. The races begin at the Shelter Island School, with the 10K looping up toward Dering Harbor. 5K runners will head back around Manwaring Road. Both courses incorporate rolling hills unique to Shelter Island, as well as picturesque water views.
As is tradition, after the race, participants will be invited to indulge in a free barbeque of hamburgers and hot dogs, courtesy of SALT Waterfront Bar and Grill. However, new this year is the Revelry on the Rock, a food truck derby style after-party produced by Hampton Event Management. Located on the water at Island Boat Yard, the event will feature live music and DJs for the ultimate dance party, as well as raffle prizes that include vouchers for hotel stays on Shelter Island. Race participants will have the $10 entry fee to the party waived, and non-participants are welcome to purchase a pass to celebrate with the finishers.
Online registration for the run is open through June 16 at shelterislandrun.com. Same day registration will be at the Shelter Island High School on Friday, June 17 from 5:30–8 p.m.; and on the day of the race from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Please note that people who arrive after 4 p.m. are welcome to run, but official registration cannot be guaranteed. All official registrants will receive a runners tech t-shirt and a SWAG pack.
To avoid the inevitable ferry lines that start to pile up around 2 p.m., “Arrive early and enjoy the fun,” says Adipietro. The energy and easy camaraderie among the runners getting ready at the Shelter Island School, which is where the race begins and ends, is worth the day trip.
The Shelter Island Run kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. For registration and additional info, visit shelterislandrun.com.