Mark Tompkins, a medieval history teacher at Ross School in East Hampton, carefully pinned race numbers to the shirts of his two sons Carson, 8, and Milo, 6, before they ran off to practice their bicycling.
Dozens of families, faculty and community members gathered at East Hampton Beach Sunday for the inaugural 5K Ross Run. The run was hosted by the Ross School, a private day and boarding school in the Hamptons for pre-kindergarten to grade 12.
“We really wanted to be here,” said Tompkins, 47, of East Hampton. “It should be really fun, it’s a beautiful spot -- can’t do better than running down Lily Pond Lane.”
Runners, walkers and youngsters on bicycles negotiated the 3.1 mile path down Lily Pond Lane, a road filled with multi-million dollar homes including one owned by Martha Stewart. Runners then circled back around before finishing the last leg of the race down Ocean Avenue, where the race began.
All money raised through registration costs, a 50/50 raffle and sponsors was directly donated to the school’s annual giving fund. More a dozen companies also sponsored the event to support the fund, which goes toward student scholarships and programs.
“We wanted to do something that involved the entire community, not just Ross,” said Courtney Wingate, 34, of East Hampton, the associate director of development at Ross. “This is the type of event that the entire community can participate in.”
Prior to the race, participants gathered to share first-time-race jitters as well as enjoy fresh apples and apple cider provided by The Milk Pail in Water Mill and water donated by Hamptons Water Company. Thirty minutes before the race, a tai chi session was held on the beach to help relax runners.
Finishing in 21 minutes even was Warren Street Social and Athletic Club runner Celine Johnson, the first overall runner to cross the finish line.
Participation medals were given to children 10 and under, and first-, second- and third-place medals were given to both the male and female participants in eight different age groups. Among the participants were Interim Head of Ross School Gregg Maloberti and his wife Amy. Aside from successfully completing the 3-mile run, Maloberti shared his main goals for the event.
“We want to get the Ross name out with the East Hampton community and we’re trying to raise money for the annual giving fundraiser,” said Maloberti, of East Hampton. “We also wanted to create a fun and family-centered event.”