Weather Clears In Time For Flying Point 5K

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With rain still pouring down at the start of registration for the Flying Point 5K in Water Mill on Sunday morning, race founder Kim Covell wasn’t sure what kind of turnout to expect in the eighth edition of the event. But more than 100 runners took a chance and got out of bed, braving wet conditions—and they were rewarded, as skies cleared by the time they began running at Flying Point Beach.

Covell, an assistant editor for The Press, said she was thrilled that more than 100 people showed up, given the conditions.

“As a runner myself, when I wake up at 7 a.m. and it’s raining, wrapping my head around the thought of running is next to impossible,” she said.

Justin Kulchinsky, 40, of East Hampton was the winner, in 17:04 (5:30 pace), followed by Steven Cuomo, 31, of Shirley, in 18:34 (5:59). Barbara Gubbins, 53, of Southampton was third and was the first female finisher, in 20:04 (6:28), followed by Robbie Rex Jr, 31, of Islip Terrace, in 20:07 (6:29).

Nick Pobat, 21, of Southampton was fifth, in 20:28 (6:36), followed by James Harvey, 32, of Glendale, in 21:47 (7:02); Brendan Minogue, 39, of New York, in 21:51 (7:03); Paul Maidment, 62, of East Hampton, in 22:16 (7:11); Michael Blackman, 26, of Stony Brook, in 23:16 (7:30); and Thomas Golding, 33, of Riverhead, who rounded out the top 10, in 23:20 (7:32). Complete results are at island-timing.com.

The Flying Point race was created in 2006 as a 10K race, but Covell changed the course to an 8K in 2009 after a few Southampton Village residents complained about the race going through their neighborhood. This year, the race was a 5K for the first time, and it’s a permanent change, she said, noting that the shorter distance is more accommodating for walkers, and in an online survey of people who have participated in the race in the past, the majority of people favored the switch to a 5K. Covell added that the shorter distance is more friendly to young runners as well, which made her happy.

For the first time this year, Covell’s son, Dylan Motz—who will turn 15 on Sunday—ran the entire race, alongside Laura Franklin, one of his teachers at Southampton High School. Dylan, who has autism, is the inspiration for the Flying Point 5K, which raises money for the Flying Point Foundation, which Covell founded in 2008. The foundation offers many valuable services for children with autism and their families. In 2010, the foundation started a local summer camp for children with autism and their siblings, and also offers other services such as respite sessions, a scholarship for a graduating senior with autism who is going to college or vocational school, a new teacher grant program, and an annual Autism Awareness for First Responders course. Since the race began, it has raised more than $65,000, and it’s on target to raise around $10,000 this year.

Covell said she is grateful for the support of sponsors, including Cook-Maran Associates, the 1770 House, Cittanuova, Dermot Dolan State Farm Insurance, Out East Therapy, Karen Langone, DPM and others have been big sponsors, and several volunteers were also out on the course handing out water.

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