Whether you're a marathon runner or just starting out, wearing the right sneakers is key before you hit the track.
We asked some of the best runners from the 2010 to 2012 Long Island Marathons for their top running shoe recommendations.
Dan and Shaun McGrath, speedy brothers from Lynbrook who are both past winners, said they prefer something lightweight but with enough support to run serious distances. Lindsey Block of Huntington's feet felt free as she finished before every other woman in 2012 in her non-constricting Brooks Green Silence shoes.
Check out their recommendations and the picks of other men and women who have been among the first to cross the finish line.
-- Nina Ruggiero
Lindsey Block, 26, of Huntington, was the first woman to cross the finish line at the 2012 Long Island Marathon. She won the race wearing Brooks Green Silence sneakers, and also likes Brooks PureFlow. "I love the support they provide without feeling constricted in any way," she says. "They also help me run fast!"
Armando Ramirez, 33, of Manhattan, came in second place at the 2012 Long Island Marathon with a time of 2:37:53. Ramirez says he trains in New Balance 860v3 and 1260 stability shoes for their support, and that he switches to the New Balance 1500 racing flat for short distances because it has the right amount of grip. For 10Ks and marathons, he wears the Adidas Adizero Adios, above. "I use Adidas because they have the right grip and yet are very light with enough support for the longer distances," he says.
Adam Mulia, 37, of Costa Rica, finished third in the 2012 Long Island Marathon with a time of 2:39:25. He runs in Adidas' Adizero Hagio. "I live and train at altitude in Costa Rica, and finding the right shoe is super important for me," he says. "Adidas holds up well to the elements and I can put in over 1,000 miles per pair." Mulia says he buys his shoes in the U.S., because clunkier sneakers are popular right now in Costa Rica. "I find that a more neutral shoe allows me to stay injury-free."
Crystal Perno, 31, of Clifton Park, NY, was the second woman to finish the 2012 Long Island Marathon with a time of 3:07:27. Perno says she loves Saucony's Kinvara 3s and will run the Boston Marathon in a neon orange-and-yellow pair. "They are a light shoe that offers good support and they also do not give me blisters during the long runs," she says. "My favorite aspect of the shoe is that Saucony always offers them in bright colors!"
Shaun McGrath, 33, of Lynbrook, was the 2011 Long Island Marathon winner with a time of 2:39:41. His favorite running shoe is Saucony's "Kinvara". "They're really lightweight and I like racing in them for that reason," he said, adding that they have the support to get him through 80 to 100 miles of running per week during training.
Dan McGrath, 29, of Lynbrook, was the 2010 Long Island Marathon winner with a time of 2:29:44. His favorite running shoe is the "Tempo" by Adidas. "It's a lightweight shoe but it still has enough support to run with it every day," he said.
Ryan McGuire, 29, of Middleburg, Penn., finished second in the 2010 Long Island Marathon with a time of 2:34:38. He trains in Brooks "Launch" shoes, but wears more lightweight Brooks "T7 Racers" on race day. "I like the company and what they stand for," he said of Brooks. "Their motto is 'Run happy.' "
Jodie Schoppmann, 27, of Levittown, finished third in the 2011 Long Island Marathon -- and was the first woman to finish -- with a time of 2:42:53. Her shoe of choice is the AdiZero "Adios" by Adidas. "I like the way Adidas fits my foot," she said. "They're lightweight and supportive."
Jodi Kartes-Heino, 41, of East Quogue, was the fifth female and second in her division to finish the 2011 Long Island Marathon with a time of 3:18:09. She said she always wears a stability shoe, but she likes to bounce back and forth between Brooks and Mizuno brands. "I prefer ultramarathons," she said, "and when you're putting a lot of miles in you don't want to be using the same muscles and putting your weight on the same places all the time. This way you're less likely to get over use injuries." This weekend she'll be racing in her Mizunos. One of her favorite models is the "Wave Nirvana".