It’s 10K day on Shelter Island, race scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

06/16/2012 8:00 AM |

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The start of last year's Shelter Island 10K Run.

The 33rd Shelter Island 10K, themed “Celebrate London 2012,” is here.

The starting gun will sound at 5:30 p.m. sharp on Route 114 near the school. The forecast is for sun and temperatures in the low 70s. Registration has been strong with more than 1,500 runners expected to race.

Race organizers this week announced the addition of yet another former Olympian and elite runner who will join the five other past and present Olympians taking part in this year’s race — including Islander Amanda Clark, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sailing team.

Acclaimed marathoner Ludmilla Petrova, who took silver at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and won the New York City Marathon in 2000, will take part in the Shelter Island 10K and “compete seriously in the women’s open and masters field,” according to Race Director Mary Ellen Adipietro.

Current Olympian Amanda Clark will be running on Saturday to raise funds for her own London effort, Team Go Sail. This past weekend, Ms. Clark and her crew Sarah Lihan took silver in the Women’s 470 in the Sail for the Gold World Cup regatta in Weymouth, England. They placed first in the event’s final-day medal race to place second overall behind a team from New Zealand.

Reached via email earlier this week, Ms. Clark was looking forward to returning home for today’s race.

“The Shelter Island 10K run has been an inspiration all my life,” she wrote. “Growing up on Route 114 I was able to watch the racers — from the elite to the first-time racer — I admired how people pushed to do their very best. The SI 10K has been a fun cross training goal for me as I prepare for the Olympic Games in sailing. I am not looking to go out to be the fastest but I will be there to support my community in one of Shelter Island’s best annual events.”

Ms. Petrova, who also ran for Russia in the 1996 Games in Atlanta, was the first Russian to win in New York. It was her second-place finish in that marathon that established her as the fastest Masters female of all time when she crossed the finish line in 2:25:43.

Janelle Kraus-Nadeau, who heads the elite runner program for this year’s 10K, expects a strong finish from Ms. Petrova. “I’d put her as the favorite based on her experience and how far she’s coming for this race,” she said. Ms. Petrova now resides in Florida, Ms. Kraus-Nadeau said. “I wouldn’t think she’d come this far unless she expected to do well.”

Also this week, the 10K Committee announced that the race will be recorded for television by YES, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network for broadcast probably in July. “Running HD,” the tri-state television show that covers running, triathlons, swimming and adventure racing events as part of the YES Network, has joined the race as a sponsor and will be filming Saturday’s proceedings for airing later this summer.

According to Ms. Adipietro, Ambrose Salmini, the producer of “Running HD,” was a running companion of race co-founder Cliff Clark and now covers races for the New York City Road Runners Club. “I met him at a NYCRR event a few years ago,” Ms. Adipietro said, “and we discussed him filming the race but it was way out of our budget.”

This year, however, Mr. Salmini offered to do it for his own company, Salmini Films. The YES Network is a dedicated sports channel that broadcasts a variety of sports events, with an emphasis on New York Yankees baseball games, and Brooklyn Nets basketball games.

In addition, the weekend’s line-up of events will include a live radio broadcast featuring the five Olympians who are participating in the race, as well as a “meet and greet” with the athletes.

And a group of disabled racers from the Rolling Thunder program will be participating in the race before heading out to the Paralympic Trials in Indianapolis later this month.

Local runner and 10K Committee member Dr. Frank Adipietro will host the live radio program, “Interview with the Olympians,” on WLNG radio on Friday, June 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. on location from the finish line at Fiske Field. Dr. Adipietro will interview sailor Amanda Clark, Shelter Island’s contender in the upcoming London games; Joan Benoit Samuelson, 1984 marathon gold medalist; Frank Shorter, winner of a gold medal in the 1972 marathon and a silver medal in the 1976 marathon; Bill Rodgers, who ran the marathon in both the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games; Keith Brantley, a 1996 Olympic marathoner and Ms. Petrova. The program will feature a question-and-answer session with audience members. After the show, there will be an opportunity for people to speak informally with the athletes, prior to the traditional pre-race pasta dinner at Legion Hall.

Approximately a dozen athletes from Long Island’s Rolling Thunder organization will be competing in Saturday’s race, including Adam Cruz, who is reported to be one of the best wheelchair racers in the country, according to Steve Cuomo, the United States Track & Field’s National Chair for Disabled Sports and head of the Long Island Rolling Thunder chapter.

Rolling Thunder is a national organization that fields running, walking and wheelchair racing teams for individuals who are physically or intellectually challenged. Members compete in mainstream road and cross country races, track and field meets across Long Island and the country.

“These guys will rock your world,” said Mr. Cuomo, who expects his athletes to finish the 6.2 mile course in under 40 minutes.