When Quogue School teacher Sarah Adams looked at the starting line at the 10th annual Hudsy 5K run in Quogue on Saturday morning, she smiled. Seeing a majority of young runners, most of them students at the school and some as young as 6 or 7, was affirmation that the race, which honors former Quogue School teacher Joan Hudson, has become an important staple in the community. Hudson was a teacher’s assistant in the kindergarten at the Quogue School who died of breast cancer 12 years ago. Known as “Hudsy,” she would organize recess on the playground and was a catalyst for the cheerleading program at Westhampton Beach Middle School.
Students at the Quogue School trained for the race for weeks, under the instruction of gym teacher Ryan Fay, who slowly increased their endurance by asking them to run for longer and longer periods of time during gym class. Their hard work paid off, as five of the top 10 finishers were 14 years old or younger.
Lee Sossen, 40, of New York (and a part-time Quogue resident) won the race in 18:16 (5:54 mile pace), defending his title from last year, followed by Jason McCarty, 41, of Quogue (19:59). Cheryl Regan, 35, of Quogue was third and was the top female finisher in 20:45, followed by Comeragh Sheehan, 12, of Westhampton (21:03); Cole Glotzer, 11, of Quogue (21:43); Kelly Olphie, 41, of East Moriches (21:51); Samuel Santora, 14, of Westhampton (21:57); Andre Insalaco, 9, of Quogue (22:30); Jim Bender, 59, of Aquebogue (22:41); and Gary Tetrault III, 14, of Hampton Bays, who rounded out the top ten in 22:49.
Complete results are at island-timing.com.
Proceeds from the race go to the Quogue School’s Heartlinks Committee, which uses the money for special events centered around healthy living. The committee has sponsored a walk or bike to school program, and also funded a bowling outing for all the children in the school.
Because the race is centered around promoting a healthy lifestyle for children in particular, Adams was happy to see so many children participate in the race. The run was contested a few weeks later than usual this year, and Adams explained it was because the school year started later and she and Fay felt the children needed more time to train for the race in gym class. Adams said that Fay’s goal was to slowly work the students up to being able to run for 20 minutes straight.
“I thought the biggest thing was seeing all those kids,” Adams said when asked what made the race special this year. “There’s a theory that if you can run or jog for 20 minutes straight, you can do a 5K. So they started with four minutes, then five minutes. And on Wednesday before the race, [Mr. Fay] put a clock out and the whole school walked or jogged for 20 minutes. It was really cute, because a lot of the older kids were helping out the younger kids.”
Before the race, Adams took the opportunity to honor the memory of her father, Dr. George Sheehan, who became an avid runner in his 40s. Saturday was the 20th anniversary of his death. Dr. Sheehan became well-known for his writings on running, including a best-seller he published in the 1970s, “Running and Being.” He also wrote a popular column for Runner’s World magazine. Those columns were recently compiled in a new book, “The Essential Sheehan.” Adams said her father would have been proud to see a strong community running event like the Hudsy 5K, and she said that overall, it was a great day.
“We lucked out with beautiful weather,” she said. “And it was great with all the kids so involved. And I always gets choked up too for Joan Hudson. She was a fabulous teacher.”