Some friendly, brotherly competition was on display during the fourth annual Over The Bridge 10K and 5K races in Hampton Bays on Saturday morning.
Christian and Nick Berglin, twin 17-year-old brothers from Hampton Bays who race together on the cross country and spring track varsity teams at Hampton Bays High School, placed first and second, respectively, in the 10K portion of the event, which is run by the Hampton Bays Lions Club. Christian finished in 37:37.1, which equates to a 6:04 mile pace, while Nick crossed the finish line in 38:01.4 (6:08 mile pace).
According to the brothers, Nick was out in front for the first half of the 6.2-mile race and Christian made his push around the fifth mile, when he took the lead for good. Christian let out a loud sigh of relief after he crossed the finish line.
“It’s wonderful,” Christian said of the victory. “The crowd was amazing. It was really an awesome, awesome day.
“I’ve never beaten my brother before in anything really over two laps,” he added. “I don’t always think, ‘I want beat Nick today.’ I ran a good time and that’s all that really matters. We’re bothers, we’re teammates, we always have to support each other, and this is just another form of us pushing each other together.”
Nick explained that 10K races tend to take a lot out of him physically, and that 5Ks are better suited for his running style. But he stopped short of taking anything away from his brother.
“I’m happy [Christian] won it,” he said. “He was just faster today.”
Louis Volle, 30, finished third overall in the 10K in 38:52.8 (6:16), while Nick Connolly, 25, of New York City, placed fourth in 39:29.9 (6:21). Robert Moscato, 43, of Islip, rounded out the top five, finishing in 40:29.1 (6:32).
Heather Wright, 34, of Westhampton, was the first female to cross the finish line and sixth overall. She finished in 41:45 (6:44).
Tara Farrell, 35, of East Quogue, won the 5K, or 3.1-mile race, in 19:40.1 (6:21). Isaac Tran, 17, of Hampton Bays, finished second and was the first male to cross the finish line in 20:35 (6:38). Complete results can be found at www.2014.island-timing.com.
Race director Frank Butz, one of 40 members of the Hampton Bays Lions Club involved in the race, said there were 508 participants on Saturday, up from last year’s total of 450. Proceeds from the race will continue to help people with vision problems, Butz said. The club will continue to sponsor six seeing-eye dogs through the Smithtown Guide Dog Foundation, three of which will go to returning war veterans, and the club will also sponsor dogs through Canine Companions For Independence, a nonprofit that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships, as stated on its website, www.cci.org.
The Hampton Bays Lions Club also donates funds to the Dominican Sisters, who help families in need, and will also continue to provide scholarships for students in the Hampton Bays and Westhampton Beach school districts. The Hampton Bays Public Library, St. Rosalie’s Food Pantry of Hampton Bays, Hampton Bays Little League and local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts all will benefit from the race, as will Maureen’s Haven, which provides shelter and support to the homeless on the East End.
“Well, it was our fourth year doing the race and each year it seems to get better and better,” Butz said. “I thought it was very smooth. All of the Lions Club members kicked in and helped throughout the event, with help from the Coast Guard and the Southampton Town Police Department. It was a very successful event for the Hampton Bays Lions Club.”