Everyone loves a redemption story and Robert Beit provided that at the 18th annual Ellen’s Run in Southampton on Sunday morning.
At last year’s race, Beit was overtaken just before the finish line by East Hampton’s Luis Mancilla, who won the race by just two seconds. But this year’s race belonged to Beit’s, who made sure he wouldn’t have a problem finishing the 5K.
Beit, 19, of New York City won the race in 16:48, a 5:25-mile pace. Mancilla finished in 16:55 (5:27). This fall Beit is entering his freshman year at New York University, where he’ll be running on the cross country team.
“It feels really great,” Beit said of his redemptive victory. “I think I was running the last mile with [Mancilla]. I made my move the last half-mile. I don’t know how far behind me he was when I came in.”
Nick Berglin, 16, of Hampton Bays placed third overall in 16:56 (5:27) while Jack Link, 16, of East Hampton placed fourth overall in 16:58 (5:28). Tessa Barrett, 17, of Waverly, Pennsylvania, placed fifth overall, but was the first woman to cross the finish line in 17:04 (5:30). Kira Garry, 20, of Montauk was the second woman in, eighth overall, in 17:34 (5:39), while Jennifer Donnelly, 22, of Wellesley, Massachusetts, placed third among women, 12th overall, in 18:28 (5:57).
For complete race results, go to the Ellen’s Run home page at www.ellensrun.org, or, go to www.coolrunning.com.
Barrett, who is entering her senior year in high school, where she’ll be running cross country, said she was vacationing with her family in Southampton and saw fliers about Sunday’s race. “So I figured I’d give it a try,” she said. “I just wanted to come out and have a good time today. I wasn’t going for a time, or a place, I just wanted to run. It was a great race.”
Runners saw perfect conditions once again for the race—cloudy skies with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees. Race organizer Julie Ratner was pleased with the turnout, approximately 1,000 runners and walkers.
“The first [runners] came in very quickly,” she said. “I don’t ride my bike that fast, it’s pretty amazing.
“We’re getting to a point where we’re getting a thousand people every year,” she added. “My goal is always like more, more, more, but we’re really thrilled to get what we get.”
The course of the race was slightly changed this year. Instead of runners beginning at the corner of Wickapogue and Old Town roads, they began just beyond the finish line on Herrick Road. They then made a left onto Old Town Road and another left on Meeting House Road and then a quick left onto Little Plains Road followed by a quick right onto Herrick Road.
After a left onto South Main Street, they made another left on Gin Lane, a left onto Old Town Road and then a final left on Herrick, where the finish line was.
“The run is really down to a system,” Ratner said. “We have a fantastic crew of volunteers who come on race day, who work with me during the year to get it ready. I think after 18 years we actually have it down. All of the moving parts are organized. Today was very smooth and I’m very pleased with how it went.”
Judi Donnelly, 56, of Wellesley was the first breast cancer survivor in at 24:25 (7:52). Proceeds of the race benefit the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, which provides breast cancer education, support and research. After 13 successful years in East Hampton, Ellen’s Run was moved to Southampton in 2009 to coincide with the opening of the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center at Southampton Hospital.
Both the race and center are named after Ratner’s sister, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 1989. A journalist, Hermanson sought to educate the public about the disease, the challenges its victims face and resources that they and survivors could use. She lost her battle with cancer in April 1995 at the age of 42.
Last year’s race raised $210,000 and Ratner expects this year’s proceeds to be about the same. She is particularly proud of the fact that the money stays in the Hamptons. Through Ellen’s Run and other charitable events, Ratner is responsible for the breast cancer center at Southampton Hospital, new equipment for early detection and Ellen’s Well, a program that Ratner started in 2000 that provides free psychological support to breast cancer patients and survivors.