Oz Pearlman returned to the Hamptons Marathon on Saturday morning after a five-year hiatus, and his return was a victorious one.The 32-year-old New York City resident broke the tape in 2:47:02 (6:23 mile pace), enjoying a comfortable margin of victory over Daniel Widlowski, 26, also of New York, who finished in 2:52:06 (6:35) in the 26.2-mile race in Springs.
Pearlman won the Hamptons Marathon in 2008 and 2009, setting the course record of 2:37:50 in 2008, but he did not participate in the race again until this year. He didn’t come close to breaking his course record this year, and that was by design, he said after the race—because he planned on running in another marathon the very next day. He was successful in that venture as well, winning the Yonkers Marathon on Sunday. Pearlman estimated he could have run about 20 minutes faster on Saturday if he wanted to push himself.
Southampton resident and 2001 Southampton High School graduate Megan Gubbins, 32, was the top female finisher in the marathon, taking fifth overall, in 3:11:14 (7:18).
Rounding out the top three men in the marathon was Andrew Wilson, 45, of Greenlawn (3:00:11, 6:53 mile pace). The top five women included Kelly Vaughn, 29, of New York (3:14:24, 7:25) and Staci Huelat, 27, of Norwalk, Connecticut (3:16:44, 7:31).
Brendan Martin, 25, of Smithtown won the half-marathon and broke the course record in the process, finishing in 1:08:26 (5:14). The previous best time of 1:09.38 was set by Christian Thompson in 2012. Conor Rose, 24, of New York was second (1:12:02, 5:30), followed by Scott MacArthur, 24, of Cambridge, Massachusetts (1:14:15, 5:40).
Heather Williams, 39, of Centerport was the top female in the half-marathon (18th overall), in 1:25:51 (6:33). She also won the half-marathon in 2009, posting what was a course record at the time, although last year’s winner, Delilah DiCrescenzo, now owns the course record (1:15:05) for the women’s half-marathon. Danya Perry, 43, of New York was second among women, in 1:27:46 (6:42), followed by Natalie Busby, 24, of New York (1:28:33, 6:46).
Doroteo Soledad, 39, of Water Mill won the 5K in 20:14 (6:31), and Ann Auiler, 38, of New York was the top female with a time of 24:09 (7:47).
Complete results are at flrrt.com.
Pearlman is a magician and mentalist by trade, doing mind-reading shows at corporate events and private parties. He had several bookings in the Hamptons this summer, he said, and that sparked his desire to return to the race.
“I had been doing a lot of other fall marathons, but I always love the Hamptons Marathon,” he explained, barely winded after his victory. “It’s so pretty out here, and it’s a great time of year. It worked out to be a great weekend, workwise.”
When asked why he decided to do marathons on consecutive days, Pearlman laughed. “I’m a glutton for pain, apparently,” he said.
Pearlman said he knew he had the victory in the bag at the 24-mile mark, noting his time at a turnaround and realizing he had a large enough lead over the second-place runner. “I just jogged it in from there,” he said.
Pearlman’s statement that he is a “glutton for pain” is a fair assessment, considering he also does ultra-marathons, some at distances of more than 100 miles.
Gubbins ran in the Hamptons Marathon for the first time, although she has participated in the half-marathon twice before. She said she decided to do the marathon on a whim, and didn’t expect to win.
“I had been doing a couple of extra miles and thought I’d throw one in there and see what happens,” she said after the race. “I went out a little too quickly, but then I slowed it down a bit and was okay. I felt really good until about mile 18 or 19.”
Martin was running in the event for the first time and said he decided to try it out after hearing good things about the race from friends who had done it in the past. A 2011 graduate of Columbia University, he ran cross country and track at the Ivy League school and is hoping to go to study physical therapy at Stony Brook University.
Martin said he had company for the first four miles of the race before breaking away. He said he liked the race and would love to do it again. He described the course as “deceptively hard,” but said he loved the scenery along the way.
Like Pearlman, Williams defended her title from 2009, as the top female in the half-marathon, and had an even better time than she did that year, when she was less than a year removed from giving birth to her second child. The mother of two, who owns and operates Northport Physical Therapy with her husband, has been running competitively for 25 years, including at Auburn University. Williams has done marathons in the past but said she decided to stick to half-marathons, even before she had kids, because of the time commitment it takes to prepare for a full marathon. She was happy with her performance on Saturday, especially considering she had been battling some physical setbacks in the last year.
“It feels really good,” she said. “This is a really nice race—it’s well-run, and it’s a really nice course.”
The quartet of winners weren’t the only ones who provided some excitement at the finish line. There were two separate marriage proposals at the finish as well. Michael DeRise of Oceanside proposed to his girlfriend, Stephanie Schiano, after they crossed the finish line together, in front of their family. Schiano said she had no idea that he was going to propose. The couple have been together for a year and a half, they said, and both love to run.
“It’s our passion,” DeRise said. “We do it together four or five days a week. It’s something we love.”
There was also a scary moment at the finish line as competitors were completing the half-marathon. One runner passed out just feet from the finish line and had to be attended to by the medical staff because of severe dehydration. He was taken away in an ambulance, but later made a full recovery.
The event sold out early, as it always does, in its eighth year of existence, with registration closed by early July. A total of 2,800 runners registered, with 1,890 completing either the full or half distance.
Proceeds from the race go to Project Most, Southampton Hospital, the Springs School (where the start and finish are located), and East Hampton PAL. Over the life of the event, it has raised more than $400,000 for various charities.
Many runners also compete in the marathon as part of a fund-raising team, and each year, several charities, such as Team In Training, Team Boomer (the Boomer Esiason Foundation), the American Cancer Society, and others are represented. All together, those charities have raised $600,000 through the marathon.
“What has been nicest about this race is how it has evolved organically from being a small-time race into one that is pretty much nationally known at this point,” Moszkowski said. “We are fortunate to have the support of the town, the police, and the community at large.”
For those who missed out on this year’s event, or who are eager to participate in another long-distance race in the Hamptons, registration for the Bridgehampton Half-Marathon—which had its inaugural race this spring and was created by Moszkowski and Weinberger—has just opened up.