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Jul 28, 2009 6:05 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Women dominate Giant Steps 5K

Jul 28, 2009 6:05 PM

Women dominated this year’s Giant Steps 5K race in Amagansett on Sunday taking five of the top 10 spots, including first overall.

Catherine Mullen, 24, of New York City finished the 3.1-mile course up Springs/Amagansett Road to Albert’s Landing Road, Cross Highway and back down Fresh Pond Road in 17:31 (5:39). She was one of four friends and running partners who traveled to the East End for the race.

Mullen’s twin sister, Caroline Mullen, 24, finished third overall in 18:47 (6:03) and their friend and host in Sag Harbor, Helen Millson, 23, placed fifth overall and second among females in 19:57 (6:26). The other young woman in their group, Alexandra “Panda” Ebling, 23, finished 37th overall in 25:35 (8:14).

The top male finisher, 37-year-old Goff Laurens, also of New York City placed second overall in 18:26 (5:56). Amagansett runner William Brooks, 27, was the only other man to crack the top five. He finished fourth overall and second among males in 19:55 (6:25). Steven Lutz, 42, of Melville placed seventh overall and third among males in 20:14 (6:31).

Howard John Lebwith, the race’s director and course designer, said it’s unusual to see so many females in the top 10 at Giant Steps, or any other race. “I think it’s wonderful,” he said, noting that he pegged the Mullen twins as winners from the start. “I knew that they could run,” Lebwith, an inveterate local runner, said, drawing on his years of racing experience. “They just had the look.”

Giant Steps is one of a number of the smaller East End races and the comparatively short list of 76 runners included more locals than people from points west. “It’s a very small little race,” Lebwith said.

A steady rain fell in the hours leading up to the 5K on Sunday, but the clouds broke shortly after the race commenced. Despite the last minute shift, the weather hurt participation this year, Lebwith said, noting Giant Steps has attracted as many as 200 runners in the past.

Lebwith, a retired East Hampton dentist, said Giant Steps has run off and on over 20 years. It has had numerous sponsors during that time, but the race has benefited the Pediatric Dental Fund for the past decade. “They do good work,” he said, explaining that PDF is a “nice little charity” that helps children in need of dental work.

Catherine Mullen, a real estate investment manager, said she and her friends train together and run New York Road Runners races in Central Park, but Giant Steps was her first race on the East End. “It was a fun race,” Mullen said, noting that there were few cars on the road and she enjoyed the beautiful countryside. “It’s on par with any other road race in the city,” she said, pointing out the automatic timing system provided by Island Timing and the well-placed mile markers.

Mullen acknowledged that she was followed closely by an old classmate and male runner who she knew from the city, but her competitive spirit took over and drove her to victory. “I pushed pretty hard out there,” she said.

The male runner, a 24-year-old investment banker from Manhattan placed second overall, but he didn’t pay to enter the race and did not qualify for the official results.

For complete results of the Giant Steps 5K, visit island-timing.com.

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Good Old Harold. I can't think of another resident who better exemplifies all of the best qualities of East Enders.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jul 30, 09 10:17 PM