Ryan Fowkes retained his title in the Montauk Mile, crossing the finish line in 4:53.21 to win the third version of the race on Sunday morning. The East Hampton senior, who is gearing up for this weekend’s New Balance Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina, was the only runner of the near 75-participant group to finish in under five minutes.
Ava Engstrom won the women’s mile in 5:47.58, joining her older brother Erik Engstrom, who won the Mile’s first race three years ago, on the John F. Conner Trophy, which is displayed at The Montauket year round.
The original Montauk Mile was created in the mid-1980s, and it was more of an “unofficial race” that went from the Montauk Train Station to the village green. Back then, current East Hampton boys varsity cross country head coach Kevin Barry said, the race drew about 30 to 40 participants, including himself. Since Barry and other racing enthusiasts brought back the race, it has been drawing 70-100 runners each year.
Evan Masi, 15, placed second behind Fowkes in the men’s race in 5:08.48, followed by Frank Bellucci, 17, who crossed the finish line in 5:09.63. Eric Perez, 21, a former runner at East Hampton High, placed fourth in 5:13.83, and Amari Siordon, 15, wrapped up the top five in 5:14.51.
Isabella Tarbut, a good friend and teammate of Ava Engstrom on the East Hampton cross country and track teams, placed second in 6:09.05. She was followed in by Beth Feit, 49, who finished in 6:20.85, Emma Gallagher, 17, who finished in 6:25.26, and Emma Hren, 14, who rounded out the top five women in 6:26.19. Last year’s female champion, Paige Duca, could not attend this year’s race, Barry said, since she was running at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with Boston College.
The Montauk Mile is a fundraiser for the East Hampton cross country programs and has funded trips to Florida the past two years. Barry said that he has his eye on a different race this time around, the Ocean State XC Invitational in Rhode Island.
Organizers of the Montauk Mile would like to thank its sponsors which include: Edgewater Restaurant in Hampton Bays, Old Montauk Athletic Club, East Hampton Kiwanis, Body Tech Gym, Truth Training Gym, Henrika Conner CPA, East Hampton Rotary, Montauket Hotel and Restaurant, Surf Lodge, South Ferry, Montauk Circle Burger, which provided food after the race, Montauk Brewery, which provided refreshments after the race, and Free Ride, which shuttled runners from the registration area to the starting line.