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    Bigger Than Ever! Sayville’s Third Annual All-Elementary Duathlon
    November 14, 2015 10:47 am  
    Bigger Than Ever! Sayville’s Third Annual All-Elementary Duathlon

    Story and photos by Linda Mittiga, Sayville Schools Public Relations

    At the Third Annual All-Elementary Duathlon, excitement was as sharp as the crisp October air.

    Bringing bikes of all shapes and sizes, wearing hats and thermal outerwear, and sporting colorful helmets, all 418 elementary school student-athletes geared up at 7:30 for the early Saturday-morning start of two events—the Fun Run and the Duathlon.

    “These events are not races,” the Sayville Elementary School Duathlon organizers emphasized during opening remarks. “The students should be proud of their participation, no matter how long it takes to complete the course. There are two simple goals—to finish and to have fun doing it!”

    The Fun Run’s half-mile run around the Lincoln Avenue field was specifically for students in Kindergarten through First Grade who choose the running event. After their race, the older students lined up for the Duathlon. On the “go signal,” the first wave of participants, Fifth-grade boys, who had assembled at the starting line, sprang into action. Fifth-grade girls started one minute after, and the succession of Fourth-graders, Third-graders, Second-graders according to genders was similarly paced one-minute apart, until the First-Grade level, in which boys and girls ran together.

    After completing the first circuit around Lincoln Avenue fields, the “Duathletes” grabbed their bikes for the second part: a 2.5-mile ride on a designated route in the Lincoln Avenue vicinity. Once the bikers returned to the Lincoln Avenue School, they corralled their bikes in the transition area, and took the final 1/2–mile run around the field both to cross the official finish line and to achieve their personal best.

    Cheering them on to a successful finish was a host of enthusiastic family members and volunteers. Everyone was flushed with enthusiasm by the time the last contenders crossed the finish line.

    Special thanks go to Duathlon organizers Gary Jensen, Lincoln Avenue Principal Dr. Michele LeBlanc, and Coach Bolger, along with Paula Troha for all their efforts coordinating the event. In his opening remarks, Mr. Jensen also acknowledged , “a large group of people who made this event possible.**”

    Extra congratulations go to all the participants who made history; this year’s Third Annual All-Elementary Duathlon was bigger than in the previous years, boasting a new record of 418 participants, compared to 288 last year and 255 the first year.

    **Among those who were owed thanks:
    • All sponsors who contributed funds to pay for the T-shirts;
    • Gold Sponsors – Sal’s Pizza, Sayville Running Company, Sunrise Tri, Roseland Dance, Sayville Teachers Association, STAT Health, Sayville Falls Mini Golf, Legislator Bill Lindsay;
    • Sasha Gagnon –T-shirt artist
    • Town of Islip, Officers at 5th Precinct, Volunteers of the Sayville Fire Department;
    • Parent Volunteers – here early and extremely hardworking;
    • Pilot Club, Boys Scouts 184, Leadership Club, Athletes Helping Others Club, MS Cheerleaders;
    • Teacher Volunteers – who were out on the course.

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