Back-to-Back Wins For Former Miler

‘It’s great to be among like-minded people’
Stevie Szycher was the fifth-place finisher, Ashley Delp topped the women’s 35-to-39 division, and Jana Wingender was first among the 25-to-29-year-old women. Jack Graves

    Amar Kuchinad, the former Harvard miler who the week before won the Giant Steps 5K, made it two in a row with his win at Saturday’s 10K Run for Ron at Amagansett’s Fresh Pond Park.
    The 37-year-old New York City resident, who crossed the line near Gardiner’s Bay in 39 minutes and 36 seconds, has a chance for a trifecta should he enter — as he said he was planning to do — the Miss Amelia’s Cottage 2-miler in Amagansett this Sunday, a race that he hopes to run in 11 to 11-and-a-half minutes.
    Kuchinad said the runner-up, David Powers, 43, “was pushing me the whole way.” Powers, a part-time Wainscott resident who has done five or six Ironman triathlons, was making his 10K debut that day.
    But Powers, who finished in 39:47, demurred. “It was uphill the whole way — got that?” the tall triathlete said, with a smile, in the shade of the park’s trees afterward. Kuchinad, he said, had gone out strong — “he was 20 years ahead of us.”
    At one point, on a slight downhill on Abram’s Landing Road, on the way toward Old Stone Highway and the woods, Powers said he pulled to within 20 seconds from 30 seconds.
    The women’s winner, Barbara Gubbins, 51, who was third over all in 41:25, paused to talk briefly before going to work. “My left calf cramped up on the hills — I’m going to feel it. I didn’t hydrate enough. It was pretty hot and humid out there.”
    Gubbins said she plans on doing the New York City Marathon this fall. It would be her first time in New York, she said. She qualified for it by running a half-marathon in 1 hour and 26 minutes in New Orleans. “My goal,” she said, “is to enjoy the experience.”
    The fourth and fifth-place finishers were Tim Armstrong and Stevie Szycher, East Hampton summer residents, who, tongue in cheek, sported “Hooters — Amagansett” shirts, as did their companions Ashley Delp and Jana Wingender. When Armstrong was asked where the other member of their lively group was, the woman who’d won this race — and the Hamptons half-marathon — in the past, Armstrong said, “Oh, you mean Bridget McKenna. I didn’t invite her this year.”
    Wingender topped the women’s 25-to-29-year-old division and Delp was the top 35-to-39 female finisher.
    Jan Slifka, 30, of East Hampton was the runner-up to Gubbins, and Heather Caputo, 34, also of East Hampton, was the third woman to cross the line, in 49:19.
    Later, Caputo corrected Bob Beattie, the race director. “It says I’m 24, but I’m 34,” she said.
    “Pity,” said Beattie. “You would have won the 20-to-24 class.”
    Caputo, who two years ago did “13-something” in the Lake Placid Ironman, said she will run the Hamptons Marathon this year. The former East Hampton High School track star, who also ran in college, moved back here from upstate two years ago. A licensed veterinary technician, she’s landscaping now.
    Asked if she’d taken some time off from running after college before getting back into it, Caputo said, with a smile, “I took some time off from everything!”
    The race, in its fourth year, was run in memory of Ron Morgan, the late treasurer of the East Hampton Rotary Club. Numerous members of the Morgan family, including his widow, Carol, were among the almost 100 contestants.
    Rob Norrby of the Rotary Club said East End Hospice was to receive half of the net proceeds, with the rest to be divided among the East Hampton Day Care Learning Center, the Retreat, and Maureen’s Haven.
    One of the hospice’s representatives, Dave Johnson, said that the hospice had raised half of the $10 million that would be needed to build an eight-bed inpatient facility — “a medical facility with a residential character” — on six acres of donated land in Quogue.
    Goldman Sachs was the major sponsor. Others were Mickey’s Carting, the Beachhouse, State Farm, Suffolk County National Bank, Domaine Franey, the Country School, Travelport, Devlin McNiff Real Estate, and Aboff’s.
    Chris Rounick, a summer resident living nearby who was the 12th-place finisher in 45:01, said that last year he was driving to get coffee when he saw the runners and promised himself he’d do the race this year. Though he had “excercised-induced asthma,” he wasn’t going to let it stop him, he said, adding that “it’s great to be among like-minded motivated people who are very friendly. It’s hopeful.”