For Cheryl Keller of Montauk and Mike Bahel of East Hampton, owner of the Body Tech fitness centers here, Saturday’s 26.2-mile race through Springs and Amagansett might as well have been called a “marrython,” for they were to tie the knot in Montauk later that day.
Pretty much everyone in the wedding party ran Saturday, including the minister, Brian Monahan, either in the full, the half, or the 5K, and the 46-year-old bridegroom’s 24th-place finish in the marathon was pretty impressive given the rehearsal dinner and bachelor’s party that had preceded it.
His time was 3:21:36, good enough to qualify him for Boston and to earn him the third spot in the men’s 45-to-49 group.
When, a few days before, the bride-to-be, who ran the half-marathon in 2:10:58, was asked why she wasn’t doing the full with her fiancé, she replied, “If I did the full, I wouldn’t have time to do my hair and put my makeup on. Anyway, he’d be way ahead of me.”
During that same conversation, outside the East Hampton Town Clerk’s office, Bahel said providence had played a hand in their union. “I met her four years ago, at the Inlet Seafood restaurant in Montauk, but that was it — we just met, basically. But about a year ago, Laura Mancuso, who was managing my fitness center in Montauk, became pregnant and I volunteered to host her shower at my house. Cheryl was one of the guests. It was only after I’d said I’d do that than I learned my favorite team, the Cowboys, were playing on TV that day. I tried to get out of it, but I couldn’t. I guess it was meant to be.”
The bride, who is a Body Tech fitness instructor, said in reply to a question that she had done three half-marathons (Saturday’s being her fourth) and one full. She’s hoping to get into New York next year. “I’ve been denied three times — I hear you get in automatically on the fourth try.”
They are honeymooning in Italy, in a villa owned by Paul Frediani, who oversees a long-distance swimming group here.
Kevin Barry, one of Bahel’s groomsmen, ran with Bahel for the first 23 miles. “All things considered, that 3:21 was a fantastic time for him,” said Barry. (Bahel’s all-time best is a 3:16.)
Another groomsman, Ed Cashin, jumped in at around the 14-mile point at Lazy Point, “and kept us laughing and hydrated and motivated the rest of the way,” said Barry. “The pace picked up when Fiachra Hallissey joined us at Louse Point. I dropped off the pace then.” Though Barry also qualified for Boston that day with his 3:24:14, good for 28th place over all and third in the men’s 50-54 group.
“I’m not running to Montauk for the wedding,” Sinead FitzGibbon, who was to wind up as the runner-up in the half-marathon, said at the starting line behind the Springs School.
The drizzly, gray day reminded her of her native Galway.
“She’s good at everything she does,” said Barry when told FitzGibbon had finished about a minute behind the women’s winner, Sarah Chase of New York City, in 1:30:40.
“If she gets another Irish day at New York [on Nov. 4], she should do well. That will be her first marathon. She thinks she can do a 3:30. I think she can do 3:15.”
The maid of honor, Jacki Rogé, a friend of the bride’s “since infancy,” and the six bridesmaids — Natalie Duane of East Hampton, Johanna Salazar of East Hampton, Jenny Jackson of Melbourne, Fla., Olivia Greenwood of Montauk, Kim Hoye Kroha of Boston, and Alyssa Bahel of East Hampton — ran in the 5K, with the latter, who’s 15, finishing third over all among the females in 21:12.
That race was won by Drew Falkenhan, 24, of East Hampton, in 17:11. Justin Kulchinsky, 39, the owner of Mayfair Rocks on Main Street, was second, in 17:30, and Drew’s brother, Neil, 28, was third, in 18:36. Shari Klarfeld, 31, of Plainview, was the women’s winner, and fifth over all, in 20:11.
The marathon’s winners were Kevin Stakres, 32, of New York City, in 2:38:26, and Kelly Gillen, 30, of New York City, in 3:08:31. She was seventh over all.
Christian Thompson, 24, of Elkins Park, Pa., won the half — the more popular race by far — in 1:09:38.
Others in the top five were Ross McGraw, 26, of New York City (1:13:43), Pat Jeffers, 24, of Jersey City, N.J. (1:16:00), Chris Koegel, 29, of Malverne (1:16:53), and John Honerkamp, 36, of New York City (1:17:59).
There were 314 finishers in the marathon, 1,330 finishers in the half, and 232 finishers in the 5K.