Dampened but not discouraged Sunday morning, thousands of runners — some elite, others out for fun — competed in chilly, soggy Long Island Marathon races that started in Uniondale and ended at Eisenhower Park.
Runners in the 26-mile, 385-yard marathon, half marathon, and 10k races took off together under a light rain in Uniondale at 8 a.m.
There were balloons, fireworks, blaring music and runners decked out in colorful costumes. One was dressed like a clown, complete with a colorful wig and makeup; another appeared to run in a wig resembling Elmo from Sesame Street.
The marathon meant negotiating obstacles typical of a crowded road race: slippery surfaces and a course occasionally bottlenecked with too many runners.
Oz Pearlman of Manhattan, a magician and mentalist, won the race with an unofficial time of 2:29:15. It was the second year in a row that Pearlman, 33, won the Long Island Marathon. Queens resident Emiliano Garcia, originally from Mexico, placed second.
Pearlman, a self-proclaimed “running junkie,” flashed a set of cards as he crossed the Eisenhower Park finish line — his trademark — before tossing them in the air.
Amanda Filiberto, originally from Northport, was the women’s winner, clocking in at an unofficial time of 3:04:42, just two weeks after finishing the Boston Marathon.
Filiberto, 26, said that after two marathons in three weeks, she will take some down time before starting a medical residency in July.
“This will be my last marathon for a while,” she said. “I figured I’d go out with a bang.”
The first runners to cross the finish line were the 10k racers, followed by the fastest half marathoners and, about an hour later, Pearlman, Garcia and other top runners.
A shivering and soaking Chelsea Callan, 27, the winning female runner in the half marathon with a time of 1:26:40, smiled broadly as she talked about her victory.
The Westfield, New Jersey, resident said the rain cooled her off for the second half of the race, and the lack of wind helped as she slogged over the hill on the Wantagh State Parkway toward the finish line.
“I always wanted to break tape, so when I saw them put it up it was really exciting, it was an extra adrenaline boost,” Callan said. “I loved it, there was great fan support and people cheering everywhere.”
Alissa Smith, 35, of Southampton said she got a boost when she passed someone blasting the “Rocky” theme outside their home around mile 19.
“It was raining and very dramatic,” she said.
Many spectators were bundled in hoods and rain boots and using umbrellas to keep out the drizzle as The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” played incongruently over a loud speaker.
Runners came to Long Island from 36 states and six countries. The race passed through Westbury before heading south on Wantagh State Parkway. Runners exited near Sunrise Highway and finished at Eisenhower Park.
The half marathoners split on Wantagh State Parkway, exiting onto Carman Avenue toward Eisenhower Park.
The marathon weekend had about 6,500 registrants as of Friday, and that number was expected to increase by the hundreds or more by the finally tally, county officials said.
Last year about 8,800 participated in five races over Saturday and Sunday, the Nassau County executive’s office said. Festivities included a 1-mile and a 5k run on Saturday.
With Laura Albanese and Valerie Bauman
CORRECTION: Matthew Fox’s name was incorrect in earlier versions of this report Sunday.