Gubbins Was Third in Hamptons Half Marathon

Rugby team playing at home this Saturday
Barbara Gubbins (in the white singlet) was to finish third over all among the women, even though she’s 57. Robin D. Gray

The Hamptons Marathon and Half Marathon were held in Southampton Saturday, and Barbara Gubbins, who is 57, made news inasmuch as she finished third over all among the half-marathon’s female entrants.

Her time of 1 hour, 31 minutes, and 19 seconds — which, age-graded, pretty much equaled her best-ever half of 1:13 and put her very close to the top 10 percent in her age group worldwide — was just 6 seconds slower than the women’s runner-up, Erin O’Brien of Brooklyn, who is 34.

“She was behind me for most of the race,” said Gubbins, who admitted she was more bothered by a headwind near the end of the 13.1-miler than by the heat, which affected pretty much everyone’s times. 

“At the 10-mile mark I looked behind me and saw her. From mile 11 we ran together. I was hoping to put some distance between me and her when we made the turn at the hospital. . . . She outkicked me in the last leg, from the hospital to the middle school, in the final 100 yards or so.”

Had Gubbins been included among the women’s 55-to-59-year-old place-winners, she would have bested the woman in first place by about 26 minutes.

“I was very pleased,” she said, “especially considering that I haven’t been running long distances this summer. I’ve been running about five miles a day.”

In the only game in (the vicinity of) town this past weekend, Hampton United, an over-30 men’s soccer team that plays in the Suffolk league, defeated Manorville 5-2 in Eastport Sunday, thus advancing to the second round of the league’s cup tournament.

Olger (Quique) Araya, the goaltender, said that Jose Almansa, who recently joined the over-30s after John Romero decided to no longer field an East Hampton team in the top division of the Long Island Soccer Football League, scored three of the goals. Luis Barrera also scored.

Hampton United’s lineup has been further bolstered by Romero’s withdrawal from Islandwide play by the addition of Tonio Gonzalez and Jorge Alvarado, Araya said.

The team has yet to be beaten, though the Celtics and Hampton United played to a 4-4 tie on Sept. 17. “I wasn’t at that one, that’s probably why,” said Araya, with a laugh. 

Hampton United’s home field is at the Hampton Bays High School. It is to play S.F.C. Newcastle there on Sunday at 5 p.m.

By contrast, things are not faring as well for the Montauk Rugby Club, which was in past reincarnations one of the metro region’s strongest Division II entries. 

As of Monday, the Sharks, who play in Division III now and whose first home game is slated for Saturday, versus Suffolk, were listed as the Empire Geographical Rugby Union N.Y. South division’s cellar dweller, at 0-3-0.

George Calderon, one of the side’s young players, said Montauk barely fielded 15 recently at Rockaway. Presumably the same was true at Brooklyn this week. A better turnout can be expected at East Hampton’s Herrick Park for Saturday’s game. Suffolk is coming in with a 1-2 record. 

Kevin Bunce and Paul Cleary have been trying to get former high school football players — as well as soccer and volleyball players who were cut from East Hampton’s varsity teams — to come out for rugby, a safer game, they maintain, and a door-opener when it comes to college scholarships and to international play. 

Calderon said that Brandon Johnson, rated among the nation’s top-50 rugby players when he went to Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland last year, and his cousin, East Hampton High’s former quarterback, Jordan Johnson, are playing for Montauk now.