Since its inception in 2007, the Hamptons Marathon has been one of the most popular races not just on the East End but on all of Long Island, with thousands of runners flocking from the local communities, Manhattan and other areas of the country to compete in both the full and half-marathon distances. Because of the event’s popularity, each year there are more and more runners who want to compete in the races but can’t because registration has already hit the maximum number. To address that issue, race co-creators Diane Weinberger and Amanda Moszkowski decided to create another half-marathon in the Hamptons, bringing the inaugural Bridgehampton Half Marathon to the running community on Saturday, May 10.The race will kick off at 9 a.m. and will start and finish at the Beebe Windmill on Ocean Road, following a 13.1-mile course through areas of Bridgehampton and Sagaponack.
Moszkowski and Weinberger are excited about the new race, both for its potential to offer half-marathoners another chance to get out and compete in the Hamptons and because of the impact the event can have on the community.
“We’ve been so fortunate with the success of the Hamptons Marathon and how it has enabled us to make a difference in the community in East Hampton,” Moszkowski and Weinberger said. “Each year we have to close registration earlier and earlier and we turn away a lot of potential participants. We thought that it would be fun, believe it or not, to start a second race, in a different season and location, and to try to capture some of the runners we have to turn away each year, and try to have the same impact as we do in East Hampton.”
There is no question that the Hamptons Marathon has been beneficial to the greater East Hampton community. The marathon, which is a 501c3 organization, donated $75,000 back to various charities in East Hampton, as well as to Southampton Hospital, in 2013, bringing the total donation to the community since 2007 to $350,000. Additionally, many charity teams, such as Team in Training and the American Cancer Society, have a big presence at the marathon each year. Runners associated with those outside groups raised more than $500,000 for their respective causes last year alone.
Weinberger and Moszkowski said they chose the Bridgehampton area as the site for their new race because it is familiar to them personally and because the landscape offers what should be a scenic and manageable route for most runners.
Moszkowski and Weinberger are both avid distance runners themselves, and Moszkowski spent years training on the same roads that will be part of the Bridgehampton Half. They added that the course will be flat and fast, as opposed to the Hamptons Marathon and Half-Marathon courses, which include some hilly segments.
Registration is now open for the Bridgehampton Half, but will close out at 1,000 runners. Anyone who wants to participate can register at www.bridgehamptonhalf.com.
Moszkowski and Weinberger said runners can expect the same type of experience in the Bridgehampton Half that they’ve grown accustomed to competing in the Hamptons Marathon.
“We will have great schwag and medals, excellent communications, and we will offer free training runs from the Gubbins Southampton store on April weekends leading up to race day,” the organizers said.
The chief beneficiary for the Bridgehampton Half is the Bridgehampton Museum (formerly the Bridgehampton Historical Society) and Southampton Hospital. The Press News Group, the Hampton Jitney, JetBlue, C. Whitmore Gardens and Norsic are among the sponsors for the Bridgehampton Half, and additional sponsors are expected to come on board as well.
Moszkowski and Weinberger hope the new event is viewed as a benefit to the community by everyone, not just runners.
“We hope to make Bridgehampton and Southampton a new destination in springtime for runners from all over,” they said. “We’d love to have an economic impact on the villages nearby, including Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor and Southampton, by bringing people into the area who wouldn’t ordinarily come out in May. All in all, we’d like people to see these events as a benefit to the community at large and to accept that the momentary disruption in traffic that may occur, which shouldn’t last for anyone more than a few minutes, is well worth the price.”