The 25th annual Montauk Lighthouse Triathlon welcomed back well over 450 participants with seasonable weather and a highly competitive field on Sunday morning, July 18.
Vicki Ventura, who has been the race director through EventPower since 2017, said everyone was happy to back racing in person after last year’s race was canceled due to COVID-19. Ventura said that while triathlons can be done virtually, EventPower decided to defer all entries for last year’s race to this year or 2022 instead, so they could compete in-person and enjoy the scenery.
“It was incredible seeing everyone, and it was a race filled with happy people,” she said. “People were happy to be racing and happy to be back with friends.”
The Montauk Lighthouse Triathlon is a sprint triathlon with a half-mile, point-to-point swim at Gin Beach, a 14-mile bike ride through Montauk and around Gosman’s Dock, and then a 5K or 3.1-mile run, that leads athletes up the historic lighthouse grounds.
“This race is unique as it has the best finish line at the historical Montauk Lighthouse overlooking the ocean,” Ventura said. “It has a great course with rolling hills. The run is through Camp Hero, and the post-race party is on top of the hill at the lighthouse. Between the course and the finish, it’s one of the premier races on Long Island.”
As he has done many times in the past, Tom Eickelberg, 32, was the first overall finisher in 1:02:44. Shaun Faurot, 42, another triathlete who is no stranger to East End races, took second place in 1:09:39. Marc Leahy, 46, finished third in 1:11:31, while Danielle Sullivan, 44, finished fourth overall and took home first female finisher honors, crossing the finish line in 1:12:19. Olivia Ebenstein, 18, came in right behind Sullivan at 1:12:47 and rounded out the top five. Betsy Eickelberg, 29, Tom’s younger sister, finished seventh overall and was the third female to cross the finish line in 1:13:58.
Montauk Lighthouse keeper Joe Gaviola competed in the race and won his age group (65-69) in 1:34:43.
“The 25th anniversary Lighthouse Triathlon was a wonderful success, and to stand in first place (in his division) after all these years of trying, is a thrill I’ll always remember,” he said. “Especially it happening at what I am blessed to call home now.”
Complete results can be found at eventpowerli.com. All funds from the triathlon go to the restoration of the Montauk Lighthouse.