No one would have blamed Boyd Carrington for being a little distracted. With the Suffolk Marathon being filled with vendors and the camaraderie that never fails to bring distance runners together in the wee hours of race day, it was difficult not to get caught up in it all.
So, Carrington might have spent the first quarter or so of the 26.2-mile race trying to make up for missing the starting gun by a little over three minutes, but it hardly hurt him in the end. Amityville's Carrington, 46, won the fourth annual Suffolk County Marathon in 2 hours, 41 minutes, 47.3 seconds in a race that began and ended in downtown Patchogue Sunday morning.
Excluding the late start, Carrington finished in 2:38:51.0. New Jersey’s Fabian Daza was second in 2:42:46.4.
“I was messing around and got here late, so I started three minutes and [about] 20 seconds late,” said Carrington, who grew up in Barbados and moved to the U.S. in 1991. “I caught [the field] by mile eight, but I drank a lot of water and had to make a lot of port-o-potty stops.”
It was not the first time that Carrington has missed the official start of the marathon. In fact, he doesn’t mind taking a little more time, if that’s what it takes.
“I don’t like to rush myself and stress myself when I’m racing,” he said. “So, I always take my time.”
Carrington said he missed the start of the Long Island Marathon in 2014 and ran his personal best time — a 2:36.
“My misfortune works out,” he said.
Carrington said that he is running the California International Marathon in December and used the Suffolk Marathon as a training run for that race.
Women’s marathon winner Maggie Tursi of Manhasset wasn’t late to the start, but the marathon was a late addition to her schedule. Tursi, 37, has run a marathon once a year since she graduated college. Last week, she decided that she would move the streak to 15 with the Suffolk run.
“I wasn’t sure how I’d feel because I didn’t train properly for it,” said Tursi, who won in 3:13:05.1. “But, I think that after doing so many, you just have a muscle memory for it.
“It was a great course and really well-organized. The energy was awesome.”
Tursi said as she started to feel tired about mile 19, she spotted a memorial honoring military veterans and felt the will to push forward as the race entered its most muscle-crunching portion.
“I felt like I got so much energy to run for [the veterans],” she said. “They had pictures of [soldiers] who lost their lives, and that was just amazing to see.”
The race itself benefited veteran support in Suffolk.
“It’s really nice how they kept the meaning and purpose of this race front and center,” Tursi said. “You really felt like the purpose of this marathon was to honor those lost heroes.”
The morning featured a multitude of races at different distances. Mastic’s Jonathan Toro won the half-marathon in 1:17:41.5. Bay Shore’s Laura Cummings won the women’s half-marathon in 1:18:55.9.
“It was perfect weather and was a flat course, which is good to get a good time,” Cummings, 31, said.
She qualified for the seeded section of the California International Marathon, something that was her goal going into the race.
Cummings is a track and cross country coach at Calhoun High School. After the race, she headed to Bethpage State Park where her squad was competing in the Nassau class cross country championships.
“They teach me and I teach them,” Cummings said. “It’s good to feed off each other. They inspire me as much as I inspire them.”
Medford’s Joshua Jastemski won the 5-kilometer race in 17:50.9 and East Quogue’s Tara Farrell won the women’s 5K in 19:32.2.