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Hundreds join Presidential Inauguration race for ‘fitness, peace’

Hundreds of runners participated in the Presidential Inauguration

Hundreds of runners participated in the Presidential Inauguration marathon and half-marathon at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

More than 400 runners participated in the Presidential Inauguration Marathon Sunday morning at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

“I was going to run today anyway. At least I won’t be running by myself” said runner Joseph Mirco, 47, of Roosevelt. “I run here all the time.”

The Greater Long Island Running Club sponsored the run, which got underway at 9 a.m.

It’s part of the “Triple 7 Quest,” an international event involving seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.

Hempstead Village runner Allen Kemp, 19, said running a marathon was on his 2017 bucket list.

“It’s something for the new year,” said Kemp, who trained for a month between school and work.

“Running is a mindset,” he said.

The marathon and half-marathon, which looped multiple times through the park, started and ended near the park’s field house.

Organizer Linda Ottaviano said the marathon was an overwhelming success as roughly 400 people participated, 300 more than expected.

She said this was the second time — the other being 2015 — that Long Island hosted the race./

Jamaica, Queens, resident Jason Phillips, 35, won the 26-mile race in 3 hours and 2 minutes, qualifying him for the Boston Marathon in 2018.

He said he was using Sunday’s run to get ready for another marathon next month in Tokyo.

“I feel good. I didn’t know I was going to win. It was my first marathon win,” he said.

Half-marathon runner Kara Frey, 31, of Setauket, said eating salmon and drinking too much wine for dinner Saturday night affected her run. “It was tough. It was hard to run,” she said.

At one point, Frey, who didn’t train for the event, said she stopped running to send some text messages.

Runners were loose and full of life as the race got underway. While it was sunny, temperatures were in the mid-30s with a mild breeze. “Let’s go. It’s time. Let’s go,” one runner shouted.

Another proclaimed: “Just another day in the park.”

Mirco, who said he runs for exercise and tranquillity, called the course “nice and flat without obstacles.”

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