Chris Reich, who coaches East Hampton High School’s boys track team, repeated as the winner of the Paddlers 4 Humanity off-road half-marathon in Montauk Sunday, and Laura Brown, a top masters runner on the roads, topped the women.
Mike Hamilton, one of Reich’s high school competitors, on Monday reported his young coach as having said that “the race [through Hither Woods] was longer this year, but that his time was faster.”
A former East Hampton High School and college star, Reich covered the tortuous but beautiful course in 1 hour and 32.48 seconds. In his debut last year (which prompted the race director Ed Cashin to say the new generation had arrived), Reich ran a 1:37.
Anthony Snoble, a triathlete from East Islip who pushed Reich for most of the race, wasn’t far behind, finishing in 1:34.22. The two were virtually neck-and-neck at the halfway point water station near Hither Hills’ West Overlook.
When Diane O’Donnell, the high school’s girls track coach, was asked who Snoble was, she said, looking over at her niece, Christina Melli of Bohemia, “He’s Christina’s boyfriend’s brother-in-law.”
Brown, who, likewise, was neck-and-neck at the halfway point with Caroline Cashin, who often wins the off-road races based at Ed Ecker County Park, wound up winning (and finishing ninth over all) in 1:52.16. Cashin, who was 11th, finished a little more than a minute behind, in 1:53.36.
Last year’s women’s winner, Sinead FitzGibbon, did not compete this time. She is reportedly pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy in Provo, Utah.
Besides Reich, there were two other members of “the new generation” there — namely Reich’s brother Bob, who finished sixth in 1:47.20, and Joe Sullivan, who was 16th in 1:56.16. Among those East Hampton High School students who volunteered that day were Hamilton, Erica Silich, a member of the girls lacrosse team, Taylor Harned, who, according to Reich, “is carrying the boys track team on his shoulders,” and Deilyn Guzman, who pitches and plays shortstop for Bonac’s baseball team.
The event drew about the same number as last year, 60 or so. Scott Bradley said that all the proceeds, which totaled $3,800, would go to LICoP, an organization founded by Helene Fallon that provides free recreational activities for East End youngsters with disabilities.
“We host 30 events a
year, including surfing, music, art, and bowling camps,” said Fallon. “We’re making sure that the kids on the East End are served.”
Sunday’s half-marathon was the first of several Paddlers’ fund-raisers, including a Wahine (women and girls) three-mile paddle on July 17, a three-person stand-up paddle relay on July 31, and an 18-mile Montauk-to-Block Island open ocean paddle on Aug. 27.
“This year,” said Bradley, “we’ve tightened up our mission to support programs that deal with children . . . LICop, the Retreat, and the East Hampton Day Care Center.”