Runners step off at the 5K that was part of marathon...

Runners step off at the 5K that was part of marathon events last year. Credit: Daniel De Mato

Here's what the fifth annual Suffolk County Marathon should be when it kicks off Sunday morning in Patchogue: fun, fast and a great qualifier for runners looking to gain entrance to the historic Boston Marathon.

"It's the fastest possible course," Greater Long Island Running Club president Mike Polansky said, noting it's very "runner friendly."

But it could also be wet. The National Weather Service said there will be a 90% chance of rain at race time, with temperatures in the mid-60s. 

About 2,500 runners are expected to participate. A half-marathon, a 10K and a 5K race also will be run from the starting point, just east of Waverly Avenue in Patchogue.

The marathon course will wind west from that point, down Montauk Highway, through Sayville and West Sayville, past lakes, churches and shopping centers and into Oakdale.

The halfway point is in Heckscher State Park in East Islip, where the course turns back and heads east again to Patchogue.

On the route back, participants will run through the grounds of the Bayard Cutting Arboretum and, around the 20-mile mark, onto the grounds of Bourne Mansion, the old Vanderbilt mansion where a memorial honoring military fallen will be held in connection with the marathon.

The start time for all races except the 5K is 8 a.m. The 5K figures to start around 8:15 a.m., Polansky said.

Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, a Medford native, will be the honorary starter. The event is dedicated to WWII veterans, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion.

Traffic will be affected: Driving on Montauk Highway between Heckscher State Park and Patchogue won't be possible, Polansky said. Suffolk County police will direct traffic across the highway at designated points throughout the entire morning, according to a letter to area residents from County Executive Steve Bellone.

Runners can pick up their race bibs at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue between 3 and 8 p.m. Friday, and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday. Race parking — with bus transport to and from the starting line — is available Sunday at St. Joseph's, Polansky said.

The race was Bellone's idea, and he'll participate Sunday for the fifth time. "I know he's been training harder this year, even if it is an election year," Polansky said.

CROSSING POINTS AND ALTERNATE ROUTES

Patchogue

  • North Ocean Avenue and South Ocean Avenue will remain open to traffic throughout the day, as will all roads east of Ocean Avenue.
  • Areas of Patchogue west of South Ocean Avenue and south of Main Street can be accessed via side streets off South Ocean Avenue and Division Street.
  • Middle Road will be open.

Bayport and Blue Point

  • Areas of Bayport/Blue Point south of Montauk Highway can be accessed via Middle Road.
  • Division Avenue, Gillette Avenue and Bayport Avenue will serve as this region’s major crossing points.

Sayville

  • Areas of Sayville south of Main Street can be accessed via Railroad Avenue, Gillette Avenue and Greene Avenue.
  • Middle Road will be open throughout the day.

West Sayville

  • Areas of West Sayville south of Montauk Highway can be accessed via Tyler Avenue and Atlantic Avenue.

Oakdale

  • Areas of Oakdale south of Montauk Highway can be accessed via Oakdale/Bohemia Road, Bridle Way and Franklin Avenue.

Source: County executive’s office

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