Allison Levine grabbed her mother’s hand and held it high as they crossed the finish line at the 10-Mile Run to the Brewery in Patchogue on Saturday.
Levine, 23, of Medford, and her mother, Mary Levine, 54, of Patchogue have completed five and a half marathons together since last December, when they ran the Las Vegas Half Marathon with the rest of the women in their family.
“We decided to stay running, so we joined Team in Training, a team that raises funds for LLS (The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society),” Mary Levine said. “We train with people going through chemo, which helps them and keeps us motivated.”
The Greater Long Island Running Club organized the second annual race through Bayport, Blue Point, Patchogue and Sayville. The event was sponsored by the Sayville Running Company and hosted by the Blue Point Brewing Company.
Ric DiVeglio, 65, of North Babylon started the run in 2001 with five other friends as a “fun run.” They started in East Islip at a friend’s house and ran 6 miles to the brewery, had a few beers and ran back. More people began joining and last year the race became officially certified with 563 participants.
This year, that number doubled with approximately 1,150 runners. The brewery donated its entire property and all the beer people could drink from 9 to 11 a.m. The 17 empty kegs proved how thirsty the runners, their families and the 48 volunteers were.
DiVeglio bought 328 gallons of water and there was an endless assortment of bagels, bananas, juice, soda, muffins, cupcakes and hot food and even a live band waiting for everyone to cross the finish line.
The estimated $3,000 that was raised will be donated to BULA (Better Understanding of Life in Africa). The organization has built schools for children in Uganda and raises awareness in the States of the everyday struggle African children experience.
As the runners approached the finish line, the spectators began to come alive by cheering everyone through the final stretch. Conor Shelley, 24, of Rockville Center won the race with a time of 53:27. Matt Walsh, 26, of Wantagh, who is a good friend of Shelley’s came in second at 53:48.
“It felt great to cross the finish line, cause [at] that last straightaway I was starting to feel tired,” Shelley said. “I told my friend Matt, if the race was a half-a-mile more he would’ve won. I have to thank the two guys on the bikes who were my guides and gave me something to chase in the end.”
Veronica Jackson, 24, of Manhattan, was the female winner finishing with a time of 63:51.
“I felt amazing and I did not plan on going that fast,” Jackson said. “It pumped me up at the end when I had that much energy left.”
As the day passed and the remaining people flocked into the tasting room, DiVeglio was able to relax and enjoy an Oatmeal Stout and appreciate the successful turnout.
“We’re not looking to make money, we just want to run and focus on health and fitness,” he said. “We want to have fun and it’s all for a good cause.”