The Marathoning Magician pulled another one out of his hat.
Oz Pearlman, a Manhattan-based magician and mentalist who last year took third place in “America’s Got Talent,” was second to none Sunday morning, winning the 43rd annual Long Island Marathon for the second year in a row.
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Pearlman, 33, who breezed into the finish line at Eisenhower Park in 2 hours, 29 minutes and 14 seconds, brandished a set of playing cards as he took his final steps — at this point, the move is something of a trademark — and smiled wide despite the strong winds, steady rain and fairly miserable conditions for most of the morning. The second-place finisher, Emiliano Garcia of College Point, but representing the colors of his native Mexico with his running shirt, came in seven minutes later, at 2:36:33. Brooklyn’s Julio Sauce was third in 2:42:01.
“It’s fun to defend the title,” said Pearlman, who ran 2:25:25 last year. “I love it. I’m local, so I like to bring it home. Everybody is out here running. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, miserable, cold, windy, we’re out here.
“My feet are soaked. I’m hoping there aren’t too many blisters but, think about it, each shoe probably weighs a pound more, so it definitely slows you down a little bit, but you’ve got to suck it up. They don’t call it a marathon for nothing.”
The grueling 26.21 miles kicked off on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in Uniondale, roped around the Coliseum and Museum row, traversed the long, lonely stretch along Wantagh Parkway, and ended at Eisenhower. Five hundred and fifty-four people finished the race, according to data provided by Finish Line Road Race Technicians, the company that times the marathon.
Northport’s Amanda Filiberto finished first for the women, in 3:03:59. Filiberto, 26, a medical student, will start her residency in July and was itching for some downtime.
So she ran a marathon.
Then she ran another one two weeks later.
“I just ran Boston two weeks ago,” she said, apparently no worse for wear. “I didn’t run as fast as I wanted to [then] . . . And I’m in really good shape and I just wanted to run another one and this is my hometown, so I said ‘I’ll do it!’ ”
She’s studying to become a surgeon at Virginia Commonwealth, and realizes that this — her fifth ever marathon — might be it for a while. Too bad, too. Seems like long-distance running is just what the doctor ordered.
“I kind of use it was a way to de-stress and keep it together,” she said. “I love it and since I’m starting my residency, this will be my last marathon for a while. I figured I’d go out with a bang.”
Filiberto said she was just behind the first-place runner at Mile 20 — “usually when I start dying” — and realized she could pass her. “I just kind of went for it,” she said.
Rye’s Noga Ruttenberg, 42, came in second in 3:10:25, and Seaford’s Annmarie Charno, replete with family cheering section in the finish-line stands, was third in 3:11:59.
“It was a lot of highway but that’s OK because it was mostly flat, which I appreciated,” said Ruttenberg, who coaches triathletes. “I had a friend tell me it was all flat, so every little hill, I was like ‘He didn’t tell me about this one! And he didn’t tell me about that!’ But it was a great course.”
Charno, 24, who attended Plainedge High School, once vowed to never run a marathon in her life. This is now her second.
“I have no idea” how this happened, she said. “One of my friends said, ‘Let’s run Philly together!’ and then he goes to grad school in Europe and I’m like, ‘Well, I guess I’ll do it by myself.’ ”
She ran the inaugural Suffolk Marathon last year instead of the one in Philadelphia, but this time bests her personal record by 40 minutes, she said. “Amazing . . . I swore I never would and here I am.”
Pearlman, by comparison, has run too many marathons to count. He doesn’t even remember how many marathons he’s run since winning last year. A self-proclaimed “running junkie,” he’s well-known for his illusions as well as his now-illustrious running career. Last year, his picture was on the cover of Newsday’s marathon insert . . . and let’s just say his clients, many of whom reside on Long Island, noticed.
“Everyone called me, like ‘Oz, we see you on the cover. Put a shirt on!’ I’m like, ‘I know, I know. It’s too hot [outside]. Sorry to disturb the kids!’ ” said a (still) shirtless Pearlman.
So, what’s his excuse this time?
“It was too waterlogged,” he said. “I’m scaring away all the kids. I’m sorry.”