A Spirited Relay Race in Montauk

At the Montauk Brewing Company
And they’re off — in the rowing machine leg of the Montauk Brewing Company and Exceed Fitness’s relay race. Ling Li

   Anchored by female chuggers, Team Hopper, Tira Na Og, and the Shamrocks finished first, second, and third among 25 spirited teams that contested a relay race at the Montauk Brewing Company on March 30.
    Caroline Cashin, one of the organizers, who is a personal trainer and a frequent winner in endurance races here, said that the response to the unadvertised event had been a bit overwhelming.
    The Concept 2 rowing, biking, and running legs began and ended with chuggers chugging a pint of the Brewing Company’s Celtic Red ale, which was said to be tasty.
    Despite the crowd — 20 rowing machines were set up in front of the brewery — all had gone smoothly, she reported, adding that “the teams that had females chug and the men row, bike, and run seemed to fare the best.”
    Having lapped up the ale, the chuggers inverted the cups on their heads and tapped the rowers, who set off, as it were, on the race’s 5,000-meter rowing machine leg.
    “Paul Cleary was the best rower, with a time of 18 minutes and 12 seconds,” Caroline Cashin reported. “Dan Farnham (who was on Ed Cashin’s  winning team) and Chris Robbins took turns drafting each other on the bike leg out to the Point and back, and the best runner was Luis Mancilla [of Springs], who did the 5K around Fort Pond in 17 minutes flat. Jason Hancock was the second-fastest runner, in 17:50.”
    And the winning chugger? “The best chugger was . . . what’s his name. . .? Ah, Justin Geehreng. He was on Chris Carney’s team.”
    Asked if she had participated, Cashin said, “No, I’m four months pregnant — I couldn’t even chug.”
    The winning team, Team Hopper, comprised Cashin (rower), Farnham (biker), Mike Bahel (runner), and Sue Farnham (chugger). The team’s time was one hour, 18 minutes, and 44 seconds.
    Tir Na Og, the runner-up, in 1:20.19, comprised Tom O’Donoghue (rower), Zeke Stevens (biker), Chris Reich (runner), and Carla O’Donoghue (chugger).
    The third-place team numbered Joe Clark (rower), Dennis Loebs (biker), Kevin Barry (runner), and Ketora Clark (chugger).
    Because of the surprisingly large turnout, there was a run on rowing machines. Ed Cashin’s Exceed Fitness studio supplied nine, the Sag Harbor Rowing Club five, and the Y.M.C.A.-East Hampton RECenter two. Individuals provided the rest.
    Ed Cashin, Scott Bradley, and Jim Kennedy, all certified Concept 2 rowing machine instructors, demonstrated the proper technique. The “Just Row” workout they demonstrated is designed, Caroline Cashin said, “to train the entire body. Ed gave “Just Row” classes leading up to the race. Some of his students have reached a goal of 15,000 meters. That class has been very popular — there’s a waiting list.”
    Most of the bikers were unable to draft, and thus had to pedal into a stiff headwind on the way back from the Point.
    Sue de Lara, the Proud Masochists’ biker, said she thought the bike leg was “about 15 miles.”
    She started off dead last, said Sportime’s general manager (and 5.0-rated tennis player) because “Mike [Ritsi, who oversees Sportime’s multisport arena offerings] was not in rowing shape. . . . He’s got to train if he wants to make the cut for our team next time.”
    She had passed four bikers, moving up to 20th, and Matt Charron, of The Star, had held his own on the run, she said.
    Sinead FitzGibbon, a physical therapist and a former professional mountain-biker, got together an all-female team, employing two of her patients, “one with an arm in a sling,” as chuggers. “But to say they chugged maybe overstating it — their chugging was more of the white wine and martini sipping variety.”
    FitzGibbon deferred in the biking category to “a ringer I’d brought down from Massachusetts, a former pro-biking teammate of mine, Anna Milkowski, a former New York State champion. She’s the rowing coach at Andover, but because she’s rehabbing an Achilles tear, she rowed. I ran and Lisa Lubrano, who’s on the Long Island-based women’s cycling team I co-coach with Jen Gatz, biked. . . . We finished near the bottom of the middle pack. We’re coaching our chuggers so that we’ll do better next time.”
    Chris Reich, Tir Na Og’s runner, who also coaches East Hampton High School’s boys track team, said it was nice to be in the presence of his former coach, Kevin Barry, and Erik Engstrom, the freshman phenom, whom Reich is coaching this spring. Reich’s run time was 18:10, not bad, he said, considering that he was putting more time into coaching at present than into his own training.        
    Originally, Caroline Cashin said, the event, known as “Brewery to Brewery,” was to have spanned the breweries in Montauk and Greenport, but superstorm Sandy had put the kibosh on that. “We were going to paddleboard across the open water, but the strong, dangerous currents persuaded us to use Concept 2 rowing machines instead.”
    Though not planned as a fund-raiser initially, “Brewery to Brewery,” whose entry fee was $25 per participant, benefitted Paddlers 4 Humanity, an organization that Ed Cashin and Bradley helped found which has since 2004 contributed about $800,000 to various nonprofits here and in New York City.
    “We also gave $100 to the Sag Harbor Rowing Club,” said Caroline Cashin, who added that “we’ll definitely do this again next year, though we may switch things a bit. We maxed out the parking area with those rowing machines.”