06/30/13 10:14am
06/30/2013 10:14 AM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Two-time Riverhead Rocks Triathlon winner Tim Steiskal speaks with the media after his victory in the race Sunday.

Tim Steiskal is making a habit of winning triathlons. Especially in Riverhead.

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Riverhead Rocks triathlon winner Tim Steiskal of Brookhaven as he crosses the finish line.

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Riverhead Rocks triathlon winner Tim Steiskal of Brookhaven as he crosses the finish line.

Steiskal, a 23-year-old Connecticut-native now living in Brookhaven, was the first athlete to cross the finish line Sunday morning at the Apple Honda Riverhead Rocks Triathlon. It was the second straight year he’s won the downtown event. He finished in 2:07.36, a full two minutes before second place finisher Stefan Judex of Port Jefferson, according to the official race results.

VIEW RACE RESULTS HERE

“It feels great,” Steiskal said afterward, a smile across his face on the overcast day. “I’ve been having a rough year. A lot of the races I’ve entered have been on really hot days. These were perfect conditions for me.”

Steiskal said having moved to Suffolk County in the past year — he’s now working as project director at the Patchogue YMCA — has made the Riverhead race even more special to him.

“A lot of the people I train came here to support me,” he said. “I work with a lot of young kids and it’s great that they came out today. That’s what it’s all about, to inspire the future generation.”

Steiskal said he’s not quite sure how many triathlons he’s won, but that he’s claimed more than a dozen in his young career, which has seen him compete in about 60 triathlons. His goal is to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Brazil.

“[Qualifying for the Olympics is especially] tough because they only take two [Americans],” he said. “I ultimately just want to be competing on that level.”

A more immediate goal for him is to run professionally by next year, a move that would allow him to compete in more races at no cost to himself.

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Meghan Newcomer was the first female finisher in Sunday’s Riverhead Rocks Triathlon.

Riverhead Rocks female winner Meghan Newcomer, 32, who placed sixth overall, knows a thing or two about turning pro. The New York City resident began competing professionally more than a year ago and she ran, biked and swam in Riverhead for the first time Sunday, finishing in 2:13.39.

“They did a great job with this,” Newcomer said. “It’s a good community race.”

Newcomer, a Kansas City native who moved to New York to attend grad school at Columbia University and now works as a research coordinator at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has been competing in triathlons since 1999. A swimmer in high school, she took to the sport while cross training to rehab an injury.

Not only did she finish ahead of all the other females, three minutes ahead of second place  female Danielle Sullivan of West Islip, but she even hung with the best of the male competitors Sunday.

“It’s always fun to win,” she said. “I like to chase the boys. It’s always good to have someone to chase.”

Her long-term goal is to compete in a triathlon in all 50 states.

“I believe I have 12 more to go,” she said.

The top North Fork finisher was Ken Robins, 51, of Cutchogue, who crossed the finish line in 2:18.42, good enough for 13th overall and the top time of anyone over 50 years of age.

Not far behind him was David Gatz, who was the top Riverhead finisher for the second year in a row, coming in at 2:19.06

This year’s oldest competitor to finish was Ron Helin, 74, of Middle Island, who clocked 3:14.24. The youngest was 16-year-old Alex Pekoff of Bellmore, who finished at 2:53.59.

gparpan@timesreview.com

02/02/13 1:00pm
02/02/2013 1:00 PM
The Riverhead Rocks Triathlon and Cardboard Boat Race will be held the same weekend this summer.

The Riverhead Rocks Triathlon and Cardboard Boat Race will be held the same weekend this summer.

Two popular Riverhead events will be held on the same weekend this summer, bringing family fun and a surge of business to downtown Riverhead.

Riverhead’s 4th annual Cardboard Boat Race and the Riverhead Rocks Triathlon, going on its second year, will be combined into one weekend of fun June 29-30.

“We always had the boat race on that [last] Sunday [in June], but because the triathlon depends on the way the tides are, it worked out that the tides will be perfect for the way they need to be for that Sunday,” said Ray Pickersgill, president of the Riverhead Business Improvement District.

The boat race will be June 29 and the triathlon June 30.

Last year’s boat race had close to 100 participants, and brought more than 2,500 people to Riverhead, Mr. Pickersgill said. “It’s amazing people come from all over the island to come and participate in this.”

The event is an opportunity to bring families together.

“Last year I had one mother say to me, ‘You know my son and daughter fight all year long, but the two months before the race they are as thick as thieves building their boat,’ ” Mr. Pickersgill said.

The inaugural Riverhead Rocks Triathlon also drew quite the crowd last year, with more than 450 participants. This year more than 1,000 participants are expected to race, Mr. Pickersgill said.

Last year “the hotels were all booked solid,” Mr. Pickersgill said. “All the restaurants were packed with the people buying dinner and lunch.”

Booths will be set up for local restaurants to sell food during the triathlon and for non-profit organizations to fundraise, Mr. Pickersgill said.

In an effort to promote downtown Riverhead to potential business owners, the district will also open “pop-up stores,” in the empty storefronts on Main Street. With the permission of the landlords, “the empty buildings get transformed for the day and become businesses,” Mr. Pickersgill said.  “So that they can see what it’s like on Main Street, and maybe they will decide to come back.”

Depending on the landlords’ permission, they may be able to open the “pop-up” stores for both events.

“It’s just a great, great family day,” Mr. Pickersgill said.

Last year the Cardboard Boat Race won the Verizon Fios “Best Community Event on Long Island” award, and the Riverhead Rocks Triathlon won its “Best New Event” category.

For information about the either event visit www.riverheadbid.com. For further information on Riverhead Rocks Triathlon visit www.riverheadrocks.com.

cmiller@timesreview.com

07/30/12 12:00pm
07/30/2012 12:00 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Swimmers line up to begin Sunday’s Riverhead Rocks Triathlon.

More than 300 athletes competed in Sunday’s inaugural Riverhead Rocks Triathlon. Tim Steiskal of Naugatuck, Conn. won the triathlon in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 3 seconds. Kristie Timmer of Merrick was the top female finisher in 2:16:59.

Shawn Fitzgerald of Cutchogue was seventh overall and the top local finisher. David Gatz was 25th overall and top finisher from Riverhead.

Check out a photo gallery from Sunday’s triathlon below:

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BILL LANDON PHOTOS