14 photos: E. Patchogue man wins Smith Point Triathlon for 7th time

Tim Steiskal

For the second straight year, and seventh time overall since the race started in 2010, East Patchogue’s Tim Steiskal won the 10th annual Smith Point Triathlon on Sunday.

“This is my race. I love this race,” said Steiskal, 29, who was timed at 50:49.

A triathlon runner since 12, Steiskal will be attending the 2019 Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Cleveland next week.

In the women’s category, Caitlin Dowd, 29, of Smithtown, placed first with a time of 57:14. Dowd came in second place last year.

An athlete her whole life, Dowd stopped playing lacrosse at Stony Brook University to focus on her studies.

“I began just doing a bunch of fun runs and my dad saw a sign for a triathlon one day and was like, ‘Why don’t you do this?’ So I signed up, got my butt kicked on the very first one,” Dowd said. “I was so mad, so I was like, I just really wanna get good at this so it kind of just became an instant addiction.” 

In September, Dowd will be attending the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in France.

Suffolk police shut down the entrance of Smith Point County Park on William Floyd Parkway to make way for the event’s 550 contestants. 

“People call it the unofficial Long Island championship,” said Vicki Ventura, event organizer for Event Power. 

Contestants were broken up into four groups based on gender and age and sent out in intervals for the first event: a 500-meter swim in Narrow Bay.

Lifeguards on paddleboards directed the herd of swimmers on a triangular course ending near the gazebo.

Some in a sprint, some winded, the contestants exited the water, got on a bike and hauled over toward the bridge for a 10-mile ride to Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge and back. 

Bicycles used in the event were provided through a partnership with Babylon Bike Shop.

The last leg of the race was the 3.1-mile run back over the bridge with the finish line positioned outside Tiki Joe’s Smith Point.

Longtime triathlon runner Maureen Getchell, of Mastic Beach, created the event with the help of Event Power’s late-owner Steve Tarpinian, an 18-time Ironman competitor, and Getco Company, where she is as a general partner.

“We just really wanted races down here on the peninsula and there was nothing going on as far as athletics, especially for multi-sport,” Getchell said.

Then in 2011, Maureen’s daughter, Nora, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare autoimmune disease, which required two bone marrow transplants. So portions of the second annual race went to surgery costs.

The triathlon works alongside several charities, like the Ronald McDonald House and Frances Pope Memorial Foundation.

Nora, now 14, and her brother, Arik, 15, help their mother with prepping for the annual competition.

“For us, this is the most widely supported event by civil servants,” including volunteers, lifeguards, fire departments, police and EMTs, said Trevor Anderson, who has worked with Event Power for a decade. He believes this may be a reflection of the area.

 “The coolest aspect is rallying a community.”

Click through for photos from the event:

1st place winners: Tim Steiskal and Caitlin Dowdy

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