A Dash to the Beach

The Bonac on Board to Wellness 5K
Almost 700 ran or walked — mostly ran — from the Reutershan parking lot to Main Beach on May 21. Jack Graves

The mad dash from the Reutershan parking lot in East Hampton Village to Main Beach, otherwise known as the Bonac on Board to Wellness 5K, was contested under sunny skies on May 21.

A 21-year-old Golden Gloves boxer from Springs, Luis Mancilla, who afterward said he may turn pro in the fall, was the winner, in 17 minutes and 21 seconds, besting a field of 690 entrants, the vast majority of them junior high students.

The runner-up was one, an East Hampton Middle School eighth grader, Emilio Espinoza, who has been running long-distance races with East Hampton High School’s varsity this spring. Attesting to the effectiveness of Bill Herzog and Luis Morales’s coaching, and to his own persistence, Espinoza’s 17:38 was a minute and a half faster than his time in this race last year.

“I love running,” he said in answer to a question. “I like seeing things as I go along . . . and I like the pain.”

“He’s a good runner — a great runner,” Mancilla, who won this race two years ago, said.

Espinoza, who was overtaken by Mancilla in the final 150 meters after having led the 3.1-miler up to that point, paced the 11-member East Hampton Middle School team that won the Bonacker Cup, which is awarded to the winning junior high team each year.

This is the 10th year that Bonac on Board, the brainchild of Barbara Tracey and Ginny Reale, who were to win a community service award from the Old Montauk Athletic Club for their endeavors in behalf of nutrition and fitness, has been held. And before everyone flooded out onto Newtown Lane on their way through Herrick Park to the starting line, Reale, a retiree these past four years, presented Tracey, who’s the middle school’s nurse, with a plaque that read:

“Ten years ago, you had a vision for a wellness program that would transform the lives of our students. Your hard work, dedication, and love made Bonac on Board to Wellness a reality. Your love for our students is evident in all you do to make B.O.B. such a great success. You have touched thousands of lives, and have empowered countless students to lead healthier and happier lives. You are a gift to our school and community; your dedication and contributions over the past decade have been a blessing beyond measure.”

Asked if she’d continue heading up this rite of spring, Tracey, whose chief assistant is Lea Bryant, said, “I will — as long as I’m here.”
Bonac on Board to Wellness also puts on a well-attended health fair each year, in April, and a Mad Heart Ball for the middle schoolers around Valentine’s Day.

The race’s backers included OMAC, which paid for the timing, the Wainscott Inn, which put the timer up, the Amaden Gay Agency and Larry Kane Construction, which provided water bottles, the Wellness Foundation, which provided T-shirts, the East Hampton Library, which manned the water station, the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue Squad, which oversaw beach games after the race, the East Hampton Ambulance Association, which was on standby, Pat Bistrian Jr., who provided a golf cart, Sign Language, Whitson’s Culinary Group, the Golden Pear, and the East Hampton Middle School PTA.

The top 10, as listed on pigmantri.com, were Mancilla, Espinoza, Jason Hancock (18:25), Omar Leon Saldana (18:41), Eamon Spencer (18:52), Doug Milano (19:17), Sean Moucha (19:31), Chasen Dubs (19:33), Keith Quihuiri (19:38), and Cody Hillerud (19:43).

Madison Smullen, an eighth grader who high-jumped for the East Hampton High School girls track team this spring, was listed as the female winner (and 15th over all), in 20:06. The top five females included Jean Palacios (20:13), Carla Leon (20:38), Zoe Leach (21:55), and Alden Powers (22:05).

Alden’s father, David Powers, a triathlete who was the recipient of OMAC’s athlete of the year award in December, paced his 11-year-old daughter, who was the runner-up to Leach in the East Hampton Middle School’s sixth grade category.

The middle school’s cup-winning team, which averaged 20:52 (a 7:20-per-mile pace), comprised Espinoza, Saldana, Dubs, Quihuiri, Jack Reese (19:52), Zane Musnicki (20:14), Elizabeth Bistrian (22:14), Aveen Hallissey (22:14), Madison Jones (23:41), Cassady Czarnecki (24:52), and Connie Chan (26:22). Dubs, who is to try out for a youth track team that is to compete in Italy at the end of next month, is a seventh grader, as is Quihuiri.

Mattituck’s team, which averaged 22:54, was the runner-up. The third-place team was Montauk (23:59).