McGann Comes Close To Setting New Record At 19th Annual Ellen’s Run

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A new winner was crowned at the 19th annual Ellen’s run in Southampton on Sunday morning.

Brendan McGann, 26, of Manhasset, easily won in 16:49, which equates to a mile pace of 5:25 and is a second off the course record. Robert Beit of New York City, who did not compete in this year’s run, set the course record last year at 16:48.

It was the first time McGann ever competed in Ellen’s Run, which saw 813 participants this year. A light rain started just before the starting gun rang out but ended shortly thereafter.

“It’s the fastest I’ve finished a 5K in a long time,” McGann said. “When I was coming up the final stretch, I saw 16:29, 16:30, and thought, ‘Wow, I’m doing alright!’ I had been averaging around 17:10.”

McGann, who finished sixth in 29:44 at the Firecracker 8K in July, said it was a little tough navigating the course, stating that the lead pace car was a little nonchalant.

“I was like, which way do I go?’” he said, with a laugh. “I can’t complain, a win is a win.

“I’ll definitely be back next year,” McGann added. “I’ll know the course better so who knows what I’ll be able to do then.”

Dylan Fine, 17, of Water Mill, placed second overall in 17:05 (5:30 mile pace), while Charles Scherr, 19, of New York City, placed third in 17:06 (5:31). Luis Mancilla, 23, of East Hampton, who won the race two years ago, placed fourth overall in 17:09 (5:32). Christian Berglin, 17, of Hampton Bays, completed the top five, finishing in 17:37 (5:40).

On the women’s side, Tara Farrell, 35, of East Quogue, crossed the finish line as the first female, 13th overall, in 18:48 (6:03). Kelsey Amarosa, 20, of Nesconset, was the second female in at 19:13 (6:11) while Mariela Quintanan, 25, of Brooklyn, finished third among females in 19:48 (6:23). Judi Donnelly, 57, of Wellesley, Massachusetts, was the first breast cancer survivor to cross the finish line for the second year in a row. She finished in 23:43.

For full race results, go to the Ellen’s Run home page at www.ellensrun.org, or, go to www.coolrunning.com.

When race organizer and founder Julie Ratner climbed to the top of a ladder at the starting line to make an announcement before the start of the race, she couldn’t believe the amount of people that had showed up to support her cause. “The number of people just stretched on and on,” she said. “For me, it was a dream come true. It was pretty special.”

Proceeds of the race benefit the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, which provides breast cancer education, support and research. After 13 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. Hermanson, a journalist, 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.

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.

“I thought [the race] really went well,” Ratner said. “I’m always in some sort of trepidation in the days leading up to it because there are always so many moving parts, no pun intended, but it went off without a hitch. I’m sure we could make it better, but all of our volunteers know exactly what they’re doing and they all do a wonderful job. It really was as close to a perfect event as it can come. If I had to rate it as 10 being the best, I’d put it at a 9.5.”

With the 20th annual race on the horizon, Ratner hinted that there could be some special things added to next year’s race to signify the anniversary. “I think we’ll give ourselves to September 1 until we start planning for next year,” she said. “When I started it I never thought we’d accomplish all that we have accomplished but there’s still a lot of work to do. The disease isn’t gone yet so we’re not done yet.”

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