Rain doesn’t stop De Rosa from claiming fourth win

Christina De Rosa of Shoreham was the first overall finisher, winning the 10K race for the fourth time in five years.

One of the constants through the first 11 years of the Sound to Bay 10K’s history had been weather that featured heat, humidity and plenty of blazing sunshine. That changed on Sunday morning, though, when runners received relief in the form of overcast skies, rain and cooler temperatures than normal for the race’s 12th edition.

But another virtual constant in recent years remained, that of a winning performance by Christina De Rosa.

The weather did not deter a large turnout or De Rosa. De Rosa, 23, of Shoreham, not only won the women’s race for the fourth time in five years and the second year in a row, but she became the first woman to finish as the event’s overall winner. No wonder she called this her favorite road race.

De Rosa, a former runner for Miller Place High School and the University of Massachusetts, completed the race, which started at Iron Pier Beach in Northville and finished at South Jamesport Beach, in 38 minutes 49 seconds. She crossed the finish line 10 seconds before the men’s winner, Ken Bohan, 47, of Rocky Point.

“That is awesome, man,” the race director, Mario Carrera, said. “She is some runner.”

Following the race, the first of its kind that had been run in the rain, De Rosa, a nurse who works overnight shifts, joked that just getting up early in the morning is an accomplishment for her. As for her time, De Rosa said it was the worst she had ever posted in the Sound to Bay 10K. “It was slow,” she said. At the same time, she reasoned, “It’s faster than I would have run if I was by myself.”

De Rosa won last year’s race in 36:56. Perhaps one explanation for her slower time in the 6.2-mile race could be found on her watch, which indicated she had run 6.28 miles. “Maybe I go off course a little,” she theorized.

Bohan, an assistant cross-country and track coach at St. Anthony’s High School who has won many road races in his career, didn’t go as fast as he would have liked, either. His best 10K time is around 32:00. Bohan didn’t meet his goal of running a six-minute-mile pace, but he did remain in De Rosa’s shadow throughout the course of the race.

The two winners both passed a pair of runners about two miles in to take the top two positions. “That’s the way it stayed the rest of the way,” said Bohan.

Bohan was followed at the finish line by Gregory Pezolano of New York City, who turned in a time of 39:37. One other runner cracked the 40-minute mark, Benjamin Johnson of Trumball, Conn., who was clocked in 39:57.

Rounding out the top 10 in the men’s race were: Matthew Waldeck of Port Jefferson (41:08), Jason Lee of Riverhead (41:23), Bob Kujawski of Cutchogue (41:27), Greg Zanieski of Pleasant Valley (41:42), Don Wilburn of Massapequa (42:05), Vincent Cappadora of Deer Park (42:08) and Tripp Dohet of New Paltz (42:17).

Una Broderick of Wantagh was the women’s runner-up and fifth overall in 40:43. Maria Pavkovitch of Hoboken, N.J., was third in 41:22. The next seven female finishers after her were: Camissa Gallagher of Northport (41:41), Kathleen Kilbride of Cutchogue (43:04), Leslie Holleran of Marchester (43:48), Tina Vaccarella of Cutchogue (44:55), Moira Tuohy of Floral Park (45:03), Emily Malloy of New York City (45:26) and Susan Bayat of New York City (45:35).

Eight days earlier, Kilbride won the New Suffolk Waterfront 5K for the second straight year in a time of 20:33.

Of the 407 runners who registered for the Sound to Bay 10K, 358 completed it. That number wasn’t far off last year’s record of 388 runners who came out for the race, a fund-raiser for the Jamesport Fire Department. It’s apparent the rain didn’t scare many runners away.

“I always liked running in the rain since I was a kid,” Bohan said. “It’s always fun. You just deal with it.”

“I knew that if it was sunny, it would be really hot and we’d be baking,” he added. “Cloudy and rain, it’s not good for [the awards ceremony] afterwards, but it was good for the run.”

No complaints were heard from the four Scottish runners who competed. They didn’t seem to mind missing the sort of sun, heat and humidity that they don’t usually experience in Scotland.

“Running in this weather is good,” said Rodger McEleney of Glasgow, Scotland. “I think it did help the times a bit.”

McEleney (14th place in 43:19) is captain of the Strathclyde Fire and Rescue athletics team, which was also represented by Glasgow residents Gary Love (11th in 42:24), David Buchanan (15th in 43:30) and Owen McIntyre (18th in 44:15).

Scots have run in all 12 of the Sound to Bay 10Ks, and the Strathclyde team has another race coming up in Germany next weekend.

The rain “really didn’t start getting bad until maybe the last mile,” De Rosa said. “At that point, you don’t even realize it. Late August, you don’t know what you’re going to get yourself into.”

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