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Sep 11, 2018 6:29 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

J.D. Hillburn Returns To Win Over The Bridge 10K

Jack Stevens won the Over The Bridge 5K. DREW BUDD
Sep 11, 2018 9:05 AM

J.D. Hillburn placed second in his first try of the Over The Bridge 10K race last year, so he returned this year and won the eighth annual event on Saturday in what was a rainy and cool morning in Hampton Bays.

The 42-year-old Brooklyn native outlasted Carl Mills, 41, of New York City, and Louis Volle, 34, of Remsenburg, for the win, crossing the finish line in 39:03.83, a mile pace of 6:17. Mills finished in 39:39.89, just ahead of Volle, who crossed in 39:40.53.

Katie Stewart, 33, of Austin, Texas, was the first female to finish the 10K (fourth overall) in 40:17.40, beating out last year’s female champion, Tara Farrell, 39, of East Quogue, by about 11 seconds. Heather Wright, 45, of Westhampton, finished third among women (14th overall) in 44:11.44.

Jack Stevens, 29, won the 5K portion of the race in 19:01.01, a mile pace of 6:07. He was followed by a trio of Hamptons Bays varsity cross country runners, the first of which was Kelvin Granadas, 16, who finished second in 19:46.23. Johnny Gonzalez, 16, finished in 19:49.57, and Arents Hansen, 14, finished in 20:00.38. Laura Brown, 51, was the first female finisher of the 5K (eighth overall), in 21:57.44. Elena Taphouse, 39, wasn’t too far behind Brown and finished the race in 22:17.08 (10th overall), and Karen Cotty, 54, finished right behind her in 22:26.96.

Full results are at elitefeats.com.

Hillburn, a private chef during the summer months who lives part-time in Southampton, said that the running circuit across Long Island is one of the best, due to the small communities that put them on. Another 500 or so runners came out for Saturday’s event, which is good for local races but much lower compared to those in the city.

“This is the best 5K circuit, in terms of field, in the summer. They’re smaller. The ones in the city are so big,” Hillburn said. “If the high school kids don’t show up, you can actually win one of these.”

Hillburn and female champion Katie Stewart both remarked how windy the course was going over Ponquogue Bridge, the main draw of the event. Both really liked the race and said it’s well organized. Hillburn and Stewart, who was visiting the East End for a wedding over the weekend, are training for the New York City Marathon in November.

“It was nice to have a smaller race feel because it’s more community, and it’s a good way to see places you visit,” Stewart said.

According to Frank Butz—race director and one of the many members of the Hampton Bays Lions Club involved in the race—the funds raised from the event will continue to sponsor six seeing-eye dogs through the Smithtown Guide Dog Foundation. Three of those six dogs will go to returning war veterans. The Lions Club also sponsors a dog through Canine Companions For Independence, a nonprofit that provides highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to those with disabilities. For a second straight year, the Airborne Tri Team was also one of the beneficiaries. The team, according to its website, is a not-for-profit organization specifically designed for mentally and physically challenged war veterans. Its central focus is to provide war veterans with opportunities, physical challenges and goal-oriented physical achievements to maximize their potential and increase their self-esteem, all by being part of a team.

A number of other charitable organizations benefit from the race, including the Dominican Sisters, who help families in need, St. Rosalie’s Food Pantry of Hampton Bays, Hampton Bays Little League, local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and Maureen’s Haven, which provides shelter and support to the homeless on the East End. The race will also continue to provide scholarships for students in the Hampton Bays and Westhampton Beach school districts.

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