There is no doubt that among the 550 athletes who participated in Sunday’s Montauk Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon and Relay, Amanda Jones had the closest connection to the Light. Her great, great, great, great-grandfather James G. Scott served as head keeper there from 1885 to 1910 and her great, great, great-grandmother Emily Scott Strong grew up in the historic landmark.
The triathlon experience was also special to Jones since she recently dropped over 100 pounds and her goal was to complete the half-mile swim, 14-mile bike ride, and 3.1-mile run in under two hours, which she did, coming in at 1:59:49.
She said she could have done better if she had worked more on swim training. “I’m a type A person. I know I could have done better. Swimming is not my strong suit, but I’m going to work on it for next year,” she said.
When she finished the final run at the Lighthouse, she said she felt on top of the world, “But I always feel as if I’m on the top of the world when I’m up there,” she said.
As a child, Jones’s mother, Barbara Borsack of East Hampton, often took her and her siblings to the Lighthouse and told them about their personal history with it. “I’m blessed with the fact that I have such a family history. She would point out special places to us like different roads they traveled on or other places that were significant to them,” she said, adding, “It’s always special for me to be at the Lighthouse.”
She started her weight loss program in 2009 after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and she walked a 5K fund-raiser. She continued exercising after that and joined a gym. As a self-described goal-oriented person she started setting some for herself and ran in several marathons. “By setting a goal I know I’ll do it,” she said, adding that she had her eye on the Lighthouse triathlon for some time.
The secret to losing weight, she said, is that there is no secret. “You have to diet and exercise. There is no magic pill. I tried to diet without exercise and exercise without diet and neither worked as good as when the two were combined,” she said.
Her family was out in force on Sunday to cheer her on along the triathlon’s route. And at the end of the course, which wound up at the Lighthouse, her three sons, Micah, Silas, and Elijah, were there to meet her with congratulatory hugs and kisses. Micah, she said, is planning to run the next marathon with her.
After the triathlon was done she was so pumped up and full of adrenaline she didn’t even think about being tired, she said. But later in the day when she returned with her family to East Hampton, she realized how worn out her body felt — especially her feet. “I lay on the couch and slept for an hour and a half,” she said.
The triathlon’s winner was Tom Eickelberg of Floral Park, in 1:02:35. David Powers, of Wainscott and New York City, who was the runner-up at Montauk in June, placed fifth, in 1:06:00.
The sprint’s women’s winner was Amy Taylor of Seaford, who placed 16th over all among the 534 finishers in 1:09:53.
Thomas Brierley, an East Hampton High School sophomore who competed in the 500-yard freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke, and in the 200 medley relay for the school’s varsity boys swimming team this winter, placed 35th, in 1:15:18, edging out Mike Bahel of East Hampton by 21 seconds, and his father, Craig Brierley, by six minutes.