Elie Hirschfeld, aged 69 is currently in training to run the Mighty Hamptons race on September 8 in Sag Harbour. This will be his 35th consecutive race (minus one that was missed due to injury).
The race includes a 1.5K swim along the shore in Noyac Bay, a 40K bike ride over a course with rolling hills, and a 10K run through the streets of North Haven.
Elie embraces the challenge on many levels. His first triathalon was in 1985, when the race was only 7 years old. “I was immediately hooked,” he says. “I read about the race in the Southampton Press the year before and I was fascinated. So I started training. I had no experience swimming, so that was a whole new sport I had to learn. I took swim lessons during the winter in NYC and got ready for the race. I loved it.”
In preparation, Elie completed his first triathlon of the season on June 8, 2019. The Mighty Montauk is considered the East End season opener, and follows a scenic route through Montauk, including a 1 mile swim, and 22 mile bike ride, and a 6.2 mile run.
Elie Hirschfeld , the oldest competitor to complete the race within the required 3 hrs and 55 mins, was honored with several awards at the event.
In commemoration of this race, he made donations to multiple charitable organizations including: The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research, The Alliance for Hope, and the Steve Tarpinian Memorial Fund. These organizations offer: funding for health research, support for those who’ve lost a loved one; and triathlon awareness and funding for underprivileged children.
Athletics, healthcare, children’s advocacy, and education remain priority causes for Mr. Hirschfeld, who often combines his passions for sports and philanthropy.
The Steve Tarpinian Memorial Fund is especially personal to Elie, and he contributes significantly every time he performs this Mighty Hamptons race.
“Steve was a good friend over the years,” Elie remembers. “He created this race and nurtured it into the most important Triathlon event in the region. He also created important programs for young children and people with disabilities to get involved in the sport of triathlon. Steve was a great champion and a great leader.”