Bayport's Billy Holl, who won the Mighty North Fork Triathlon two weeks ago was the first man across the finish line for the inaugural PBMC Health Jamesport Triathlon today.

The inaugural PBMC Health Jamesport Triathlon drew about 300 participants to the three-part competition this morning: a 500-meter swim in Peconic Bay, followed by a 26K bike ride and ending with a 5K footrace.

Billy Holl, 29, of Bayport and the winner of the Mighty North Fork Tirathlon two weeks ago, was first across the finish line at the South Jamesport town park, posting an overall time of 1:10:25.

Second place went to reigning Riverhead Rocks Triathlon champ Tim Steiskal, 25, of Naugatuck, Connecticut, who finished in 1:12:04. Steiskal has won each of the three Riverhead Rocks Olympic distance triathlons held so far; he says he’s looking forward to trying for four in a row next month.[checklist][/checklist]

Coming in right behind Steiskal was Mike Merlo, 30, of Cutchogue, with a time of 1:12:38.

The top female contestant was Caitlin Dowd, 24, of Smithtown, who finished in 1:20:11; she placed 12th in the contest overall. Second place in the female division was Annemarie Magliocco, 48, of Old Greenwich, Connecticut. In third place was Christine Grippo, 35, of Locust Valley.

Sheila Isaacs, 78, of Shoreham, was the oldest person to finish the Jamesport Triathlon — but not the last; her 2:08:19 time placed 211 out of the event's 228 finishers. Photo: Denise Civiletti
Sheila Isaacs, 78, of Shoreham, was the oldest person to finish the Jamesport Triathlon — but not the last; her 2:08:19 time placed 211 out of the event’s 228 finishers. Photo: Denise Civiletti

One division winner actually walked the last 100 yards: 78-year-old Sheila Isaacs of Shoreham. She was the only participant in the 75 and over division. She finished in 2:08:19 — 211th out of 228 finishers.

The oldest man to finish the triathlon was Raymond Bonner, 69, of Middle Island, a paramedic with the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Bonner finished second in the men’s 65-69 division, with a time of 1:38:18.

[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” width=”200″ ]Local triathlon finishers
Dough Milano, 31, Aquebogue, 1:16:40
Michael Davis, 43, Aquebogue, 1:41:42
Tammy Luby, 45, Baiting Hollow 2:03:28
Deborah Baron, 51, Calverton 1:52:14
Mike Merlo, 30, Cutchogue, 1:12:38
Louis Vaccarella, 41, Cutchogue, 1:30:24
Andrew Olsen, 45,Cutchogue, 1:51:46
Melanie Pfennig, 16, Cutchogue, 1:36:19
Suzy Heffernan, 45, Cutchogue, 1:30:15
Donna Carnevale, 56, Cutchogue, 1:56:16
Stacy Paetzel, 38, Cutchogue 1:48:30
Melissa Wells, 44, Greenport, 1:58:21
Jim Zappula, 46, Jamesport, 2:14:25
Joseph Pozzolano, 52, Mattituck, 1:44:47
Mary Kalich, 44, Mattituck, 1:38:18
Scott Robertson, 45, Riverhead, 1:42:07
Keri Schmidt, 43, Riverhead, 1:58:53
Susan Duff, 45, Riverhead, 1:54:55
Gil Cardillo, 55, Riverhead, 1:43:46
George Woodhull, 58, Riverhead, 1:46:05
Thomas Nordland, 64, Riverhead, 1:33:25
Kate Williamson, 62, South Jamesport, 2:06:05
Chris Czartosieski, 32, Southold, 1:33:10
Cindy Sepenoski, 36, Southold 1:44:06
Michelle Rempe, 36, Southold, 1:35:59
Charmaine Strange, 38, Southold 1:38:47
Celeste Flick, 52, Southold, 2:06:23
Michael Croteau, 55, Southold, 1:29:50
Jeff Campisi, 41, Wading River, 2:06:22
Robert Macdowell, 41, Wading River, 1:28:25
Donna Spencer, 46, Wading River, 1:56:50

Full race results at[/box]

After completing a 500-meter swim, participants hopped on their bicycles and took off on a 26-kilometer ride that took them west on Peconic Bay Boulevard, then west on Hubbard Avenue to East Main Street, then east to Doctors Path and north to Sound Avenue, where they went east again to Manor Lane and from there south to the boulevard for the return to the town beach. After dropping their bikes off in the transition area, they hit the road again, this time on foot, for a 5K run along Peconic Bay Boulevard east to Laurel Lane and back, with a diversionary loop on Timothy and High Meadow lanes.

“Everything about this event was great,” said race champion Holl, a physics teacher at Sachem North High School, where he is also a cross country and track and field coach. “The bike course was beautiful. The markings were great. The volunteers, the whole thing was great,” he said.

Race finisher Scott Robertson, 45, of Riverhead, concurred. “I can’t say enough good things about the Town of Riverhead,” he said. “The town board, the police, the level of cooperation for an event like this is just fantastic.”

Robertson was one of several contestants who remarked on the difficulty of the swim in choppy waters this morning.

“It was like being in a washing machine,” he said.

Today’s event was produced by RaceAwesome and announced by Terry Bisogno.  The second annual PBMC Health Jamesport Triathlon is tentatively set for July 10, 2016.

Daniella Maria Arturi

The cause behind the race
The triathlon was a fundraiser for the Daniella Maria Arturi Foundation, established in 1996 by Marie and Manny Arturi, of Laurel, shortly after they lost their infant daughter to an extremely rare blood disease called Diamond Blackfan Anemia. The disease is characterized by a failure of the bone marrow (the center of the bone where blood cells are made) to produce red blood cells, according to the foundation’s website. The incidence of the disease, which usually appears in the first year of life, is estimated to be just 5 to 10 cases for every million babies born.

Daniella Maria died of pneumocystis pneumonia at age 7 months, as a result of high-dose steroid treatment aimed at arresting the disease. The tragedy highlighted the devastating consequences of very limited information and lack of experienced doctors when caring for children with extremely rare disorders. They were determined to try to prevent lack of information and treatment protocols from affecting other children suffering from the disease.

“You either sue or you do something,” Marie Arturi said today after the start of the race. “You can’t just sit tight.”

To date, the Daniella Maria Arturi Foundation has encouraged the donation of more than $40 million for Diamond Blackfan Anemia research and improvements in clinical care, she said. There is currently no known cure. DBA patients need stem cell transplants and repeated blood transfusions or treatment with corticosteroids, which can have significant side effects.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.