Sea Cliff athlete brings home trophy at O.B. triathlon

Second-place division finish for S.C. triathlete


Kathleen Lennon, of Sea Cliff, recently competed in the Runner’s Edge Tobay Triathlon and Tri-Relay on Aug. 29, where she took second place in the Female 25-29 division.

“Crossing that finish line is always a great feeling,” Lennon said. “For me, just being able to finish the race is a huge accomplishment, regardless of what place I finish in.”

The race began in Theodore Roosevelt Park, in Oyster Bay, and included a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, a 12.3K bike ride through the hills of Oyster Bay and Oyster Bay Cove, and a 5K run through Mill Neck and Brookville. More than 350 competitors tested their endurance on the course, managed by the Greater Long Island Road Running Club.

Lennon, 28, completed the triathlon in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 14 seconds, second-best in her seven-woman division. Overall, she placed 147th out of 357 competitors.

“For myself, I never thought about how I did or compared myself to other people,” Lennon said. “My competitive side did come out a few times, not gonna lie, but it’s very rewarding to cross that finish line at all. It’s more than just a race, it’s a chance to really surprise yourself and accomplish something that feels great. Plus, it’s for a good cause too.”

Lennon has competed in triathlons across New York since late 2017, making this race her seventh, and second at Tobay Beach. She originally got the idea to compete in a triathlon after seeing an ad for a local race.

“I’ve always done competitive sports and have been an athletic person,” Lennon said. “I wasn’t working much right out of college, so I had a ton of free time to devote to a new hobby. I kind of just signed up [for the triathlon], and that motivated me to get into better shape and have something to put on my calendar to work towards.”

Lennon grew up in Sea Cliff and attended North Shore schools where, up until she graduated in 2011, was a four-sport athlete, playing lacrosse, basketball and field hockey, and swimming year- round. Over her athletic career, Lennon was recognized as an All-State field hockey player, an All-American basketball player and, in college, a Division I All-American lacrosse player.

The triathlon was organized to benefit the Life Enrichment Center in Oyster Bay, the Gerald Kaufman Memorial Fund and the Greater Long Island Running Club, all local nonprofit organizations. So far, the event has raised more than $1,000, to be split between the three organizations. That number continues to climb through online donations on the event’s website. 

“We were thrilled to help sponsor this year’s Tobay Triathlon and support the greater athletic community,” Scott Burman, principal at Engel Burman, said. “Inspired is an understatement for how it felt to watch hundreds of individuals cross the finish line, and we look forward to next year’s event.”

Along with Engel Burman, the triathlon had a number of local sponsors, including Runner’s Edge, a family-owned and operated running store that has served the Long Island running community for 36 years. Founded in 1985 by owner Bob Cook, the first location was established in Farmingdale Village, and in April of this year, a second location was opened in the Village of Huntington.

“We’re so appreciative of our local running, biking and swimming community, and the Tobay Triathlon and Tri-Relay is our chance to give back to them,” Cook said. “All of us at Runner’s Edge would like to send the biggest congratulations to Kathleen on her second-place finish.”

Lennon graduated from SUNY Albany with a bachelor’s degree in art before attending Molloy College and receiving her master’s in education. She has been working as a teacher’s assistant for over five years, and is actively pursuing a career in education.

“I recommend triathlons to anyone who’s interested and thinking about signing up,” she said. “It’s a great local event and always run by nice and helpful people. This has really motivated me to work harder, and I know I can do so much better. It’s addicting, that feeling of accomplishing something like this. I highly recommend it.”