The I-Tri program for sixth-through-eighth-grade girls in the Springs and Montauk Schools benefited to the tune of about $9,000 from a Turbo-Tri, a triathlon for adults new or relatively new to the sport that was contested Saturday over the same Maidstone Park course the I-Tri girls and others of their peers are to traverse on July 22.
The overall winner, Annette MacNiven, who recently placed second in her age group in the International Triathlon Union’s world championships — and thus was decidedly not a triathletic neophyte — told the race director and fellow I-Tri coach, Sharon McCobb, before the 300-yard swim, 7-mile bike, and 1.5-mile run event began, that she’d defer if she won.
As a result, the official winner that day among the 30 entrants was Elizabeth Parry, 32, of Water Mill, who finished in 44 minutes and 17.6 seconds, about two and a half minutes behind MacNiven. Bill Costello, 51, of Wainscott, fourth over all, was the men’s winner in 48:05.9. Stephanie Brabant, 36, of Springs, was fifth, in 48:13.5, and Diane O’Donnell, 61, the East Hampton High School girls cross-country and track coach, was sixth, in 48:19.
There were relay teams as well. Eric Casale, the Springs School principal, was on one of them, along with Kim Notel, the school’s DARE officer, who did the bay swim, and Ana Jacobs, a teacher’s assistant, who did the bike leg.
“It’s a wonderful program,” Casale said of I-Tri before the race began. “Theresa [Roden] has done an unbelievable job with them. In two years these girls have blossomed. They’re engaged in a lifelong commitment to personal fitness and to increased self-confidence. They would have been couch potatoes; they’re leaders now.”
As of the moment, I-Tri has 40 members, including 14 alumnae. Its motto is “Transformation Through Triathlon.”
Topping the eight relay teams, in 53:03.2, was Big Blue, with John Foster (swim), Whitney Reidlinger (bike), and Abbey Roden (run).
The Women’s Sports Foundation, from which I-Tri has received grant money, sent out from Hicksville a professional ultra-distance competitor, Amy Winters, a 39-year-old below-the-knee amputee who continued to compete after losing a leg to a motorcycle accident when she was 21.
Winters, who was mentoring her sister, Stacy Hatzo, a first-timer, that day, said, in reply to a question, that she would do the 135-mile Bad Water race in Death Valley next. She added that as a member of the United States’ able-bodied team, she competed in a 24-hour race in France in April, running 125 miles in that span.
While for her Saturday’s event was a walk in the park, Winters, who brought along her two children, Carson, 8, and Madilynn, 7, said it was fitting she was there, inasmuch as I-Tri “is about mentoring and helping others.”
The children, she said, “do sprint triathlons with me, distances like this.”
As for the amputation, she said in answer to a question, “Everybody faces something in life, a crisis that presents you with a choice. Do you give up or do you move on?”