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Long Island Marathon 2013: Updates from race

2013 Long Island Marathon winners: Derek Rammelkamp, left,

2013 Long Island Marathon winners: Derek Rammelkamp, left, wins the men's race with a time of 2:32:10. Kelly Gillen, right, wins for the women in 3:03.04. (May 5, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The winners of the 2013 Long Island Marathon have officially crossed the finished line.

Derek Rammelkamp, 23, won the Long Island Marathon for the men with an official time of 2:32:10. Manhasset native Kelly Gillen, 30, of New York City, won for the women finishing in 3:03.04.

It was the first marathon that Rammelkamp, a Stony Brook University graduate student, had ever run.

"I didn't really know what to expect, so I went out pretty conservative," he said. "The weather was nice. It was a great day to run a fast time."

Rammelkamp has been training for the marathon since January.

"I've been doing a long run every Sunday and a couple workouts a week," he said.

Rammelkamp graduated from Miller Place High school in 2007 and ran on the track team.

Gillen, who also ran the Boston Marathon last month, was competing in the full Long Island Marathon for the first time and said she ran her personal best time Sunday.

"Physically, I feel fine right now," Gillen said seconds after crossing the finish line. "But I'll probably be feeling it in a few hours.

"This is a great accomplishment for me, especially running it for the first time and not being too familiar with the course."

Gillen, a graduate of Cornell University,  is a graduate student there now, working on her doctorate, she said.

Her training regimen includes running 70 miles a week, she said.

Gillen was born in Manhasset and moved to Westchester as an 11-year-old. A basketball player at North Salem High School, she only picked up running nine years ago, after her younger brother was diagnosed with bone cancer.

Ian Gillen, 25, survived, she said, "but his situation inspired me to be more active. We're from an athletic family, we all play basketball, and I wanted to be fit and just do more." -- JORDAN LAUTERBACH AND STEPHEN HAYNES


Billy Holl had only ran one marathon before Sunday, but in his second 26.2 mile race the Bayport resident earned second place among thousands of runners.

Holl, 27, crossed the finish line for the Long Island Marathon in 2:35:21, about three minutes behind this year's winner, Derek Rammelkamp, of Stony Brook University grad school.

"The race went pretty well," Holl said.

Holl was in fourth place for most of the race, but around Mile 18, he overtook two other runners to take second.

"I just held it from there to the finish," he added.

Holl finished nearly 10 minutes faster than his first marathon, the 2011 New York City Marathon, which he completed in 2:44:11.

Holl started running in college. He now teaches at Sachem North High School, where he also coaches cross-country track.

He added, "Those guys keep me running."

Although this was Holl's first Long Island Marathon, he has run the half marathon several times. He didn't mind the increased police presence at this year's race, he said.

In fact, they provided some additional support for the marathon runners, especially after Mile 10, where they break away from the half marathon participants and run on the Wantagh Parkway.

"It can get kind of lonely," Holl said of this stretch of the race, where fans are much more scarce than the rest of the route."There were a lot of cops out there and they cheer for you when you pass by."

Holl's wife, Erin, and his parents were there to cheer him on, too.

He added, “I'm from Long Island, so it's nice to run the Long Island Marathon." -- TARA CONRY


Before the start of the race, County Executive Ed Mangano led a 26-second moment of silence in tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Runners signed a 7-foot by 10-foot white wall with thoughts and encouragements. After the race it will be delivered to the Boston Athletic Association.

"When you see things in Boston, New York can really relate to it because of 9/11," said Scott Rechler, who ran the 10k and is chief executive of RXR Realty, which sponsored the race. "I think a lot of people ran with a little extra passion today."

Mangano acknowledged that the Boston bombings impacted race planning.

"It moved very much from what was a traffic control event to a security event," Mangano said at the finish line of the race.

Two county police officers were sent to Boston to work with authorities there to craft a risk-assessment.

"You see a lot of security but there's a lot of security you're not seeing," Mangano said.

Runners had to deposit their belongings in clear plastic bags, which were looked over by police and canine units.

"Every bag brought into the site was checked," Mangano said.

The items were loaded on to UPS trucks and escorted by police to a staging area for runners to find later.

Rechler said the extra precautions were necessary.

"Freedom is not free," he said. "Being a runner, I didn't feel in any way I was overwhelmed by security but I felt safe."

Just before 10:30 a.m., no incidents had been reported, Mangano said.

"Today was a great celebration of democracy," he said. "The cowardly terrorist acts will not dissuade America from celebrating freedom and public assembly." -- EMILY DOOLEY


"Run if you can, walk if you must, but finish for Boston" read the sign that Roberto and Susana Bouza, of Deer Park, held as they waited for their two daughters to emerge from the finish line arena.

Garbage cans had been removed, they noticed, and corrals had been set up for runners and spectators alike. A snack van had been moved into a secure area.

Security had been tight on the course too. Daughters Susie Rogers Kalimnios, of Montauk and Sonnia Sheridan, of Scarsdale, said, with helicopters flying so low, it was sometimes hard to hear.

Flushed and happy after finishing, Kalimnios recalled a darker time when she learned of the Boston bombings: "As a runner I was heartbroken .?.?. that could have been me, or my friends, or my family." -- NICHOLAS SPANGLER


Kevin Beach, 31, stood at Mile 25 with his brother and his two young daughters, screaming for and goading runners he knew while his brother energetically rang the only cowbell heard anywhere near the finish.

Beach, of West Sayville, had a bad race in Boston, by his standards. The elite member of the Sayville Running Company ran a 3:10 marathon (his personal record is 2:46), and said he slowed down considerably after Mile 21 when his quad muscles seized up.

But he's thankful that he finished in the time he did and didn't start walking, because his entire extended family was waiting at Mile 26 near the finish for him --  right where the two bombs went off a little more than four hours into the race.

"We were going to get the T and I heard the explosions," Beach said. " I knew what it was. It's a sound I'll never forget."

Beach, his wife and his two daughters, 3 and 1, were a block away when the bombs went off. He wasn't planning on running the Long Island Marathon or even coming to cheer, but after what happened at Boston, Beach said he felt he needed to.

"It's almost like --  not closure --  but a normalcy," he said, adding that he recruited his younger brother, Brice, 27, to come with him.

"I honestly wasn't ready to come by myself," he said. "That's why I'm not at the finish line .?.?. This year I elected to go nowhere near the finish line."

He's planning to train for the Boston Marathon again next year, he said.

"Had Boston not happened, I probably wouldn't have come to cheer," Beach said. "But it made me feel better inside." -- CANDICE RUUD


Ricardo Linares, 27, was in the height of training for the half marathon -- his first -- when he was hit by a car on Front Street in Uniondale in the beginning of March.

 Linares sustained a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for more than a week.

Instead of running his first half marathon and celebrating with his family, today, Linares is still recovering in a hospital in Manhattan.

So his family is running for him. Sporting blue T-shirts that read "Running for Ricardo," 10 members of the Linares family gathered around Ricardo's dad, Richard, 48, and his cousin Alejandra, 33, after they ran the 10k together in honor of Ricardo, who has just begun speaking again after the accident.

"He's on the road to recovery," Richard Linares, of Long Beach, said. "He has a long way to go."

After the trauma their family experienced, Alejandra Linares said the bombings at the Boston Marathon last month didn't deter her.

"Everyone kept saying, you're not afraid?" she said. "Not really. You can't change your life because things like that happen. That's what they want -- us to be scared. You can't live that way or they win."

Richard Linares said Ricardo initially had a 15 percent chance of surviving the accident. "We're more proud of him" for surviving," he said. "He's fighting for his life." -- CANDICE RUUD


Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) watched the end of the Long Island Marathon, noting there were more racers than ever before with very few cancellations.

"The terrorists should know they're never going to knock Long Island or America down," Schumer said. -- EMILY DOOLEY


Cindy Bey, 33, and her sister Lumi Peralta, 38, stood with their children about 1.5 miles from the finish line and shook maracas as they waited for Bey's husband, Sudan Bey, who was running his first marathon.

The Queens family was planning on celebrating Cinco de Mayo with margaritas after the race and thought the maracas were fitting.

She said she wasn't nervous about her husband running the race after the bombing in Boston.

"I figure if they're going to bomb something, they can bomb anything -- they could bomb the train on my way to work," Bey said.

When her husband finally ran by, looking fatigued, Bey leaped into the street and ran beside him.

"You're almost there, Mr. Bey!" she chanted at him. "The margaritas are ready!" -- CANDICE RUUD


As a steady stream of half marathon participants flowed across the finish line Sunday morning in Eisenhower Park, Andrew Vigal, 47, of Levittown, looked for his daughter.

It was Alexa Vigal's first half marathon and at  age 16, the minimum age requirement to participate  in the Long Island Marathon events, she was one of the youngest runners in her race.

Andrew Vigal had a great seat in the grandstands at the finish line to witness his daughter achieve this milestone. To get there, he had to go through a security checkpoint, where officers were checking bags and asking people to empty their pockets.

"They were very thorough," he said. "There was more police activity today than I've ever seen on Long Island."

Vogel said he expected his daughter to cross the finish line around 10:15 a.m. "I'm very proud of her," he added. "I was a good sprinter, I was fast when I was younger but never did long distance so I'm happy to see her do this." -- TARA CONRY


A line of 50 people had formed at the Gate 4 entrance to the finish line of the Long Island Marathon as police check bags and pat down some spectators. "Jackets open," says a cop. "Belongings on the table."

Police vigilance extended to lengths it might not have before the bombings at the Boston Marathon, as Erik Haughn, 24, a substitute teacher from Port Jefferson Station, learned as he watched runners shortly before Mile Three.

"Excuse me, do you mind if I check your bag?" an officer asked him.

Haughn's black drawstring sack contained only a post-race snack for a friend. "I understand why they're doing it, but it feels a little invasive," he said.  -- NICHOLAS SPANGLER


After running the 10k event, several runners around the finish line were frustrated that they weren't allowed to re-enter the finish line spectator area after leaving to retrieve their bags.

Liana Rodriguez, of Whitestone, waited anxiously outside the gate after running the 10k event. She said conditions were perfect for running and the race went well, but she was annoyed that she was told she couldn't watch her friends finish the half marathon because her bag wasn't allowed past security.

Soon after, Nassau police started allowing people to enter the finish line spectator area, under the conditions that they open their jackets, empty their pockets and open up their purses or bags -- but no backpacks were allowed. -- CANDICE RUUD


And they’re off.

Thousands of runners  from 30 states and Washington, D.C. took off from the starting line of the Long Island Marathon at 8 a.m., after a 26-second moment of silence for victims of  the Boston Marathon bombings and a playing of  the national anthem.

The bombings were at the top of everyone’s minds as runners flocked to the starting line before the starting gun went off. Police police were prominent, and security was tight around Eisenhower Park, where only registered runners were allowed at the starting line and bags were prohibited.

The runners were thinking of Boston as well. Barbara Cronin Stagnari, 51, of Melville, ran the Boston Marathon but didn’t get to complete it because the bombs went off near the finish line, when she was just three blocks away.

The Boston Athletic Association did mail her a finishers medal but she said, "I'm not sure I earned it."

Having ran roughly 26 miles in Boston only weeks ago, Cronin Stagnari was not sure how fast her body would let her run Sunday.

"I don't know how long it will take me, but I will finish today," she said.

She is looking forward to seeing her husband, Jack, and daughter, Katie, 16, cheer her on as she runs and then to celebrate at the finish line by doing push-ups. It's a end-of race-challenge, almost a ritual, that she does with her running friends.

She added, "I didn't get to do my push-ups in Boston so I'm going to do them here. -- TARA CONRY


The bright blue sign with neon yellow paint was hard to miss: Long Island Runs for Boston.

Warren Steinert, 69, from Wading River, proudly wore the sign on his back as he watched runners trickle through the finishing gates.

He was there supporting some of his running friends, he said.

Steinert, a member of three different running clubs, said what the bombings at the  Boston Marathon didn't make him scared -- they made him mad.

Asked about the sign, he said, "It's to support Boston -- and next year's race." -- CANDICE RUUD


As runners began the race, friends and family lined the routes, shouting out support, taking pictures and catching discarded clothing.

Girish Panchal, 53, of Syosset stood near the intersection of Charles Lindberg Boulevard and Merrick Avenue watching for his son and wife to pass by. Panchal has run the marathon every year since 1997 but could not this year because of injury.

"This year, [there are] more police," the computer engineer said.

Runners were screened more than they had been in the past. "This time what I noticed, they were checking to make sure everybody has their number on."

The first runner in a blue singlet passed the five mile mark in 27 minutes and 40 seconds, more than half a minute in front of the next runner. The field was sparsely spread out, and the first female runner appeared about fifth or sixth in the pack, winding through Eisenhower Park without another runner in sight. -- NICHOLAS SPANGLER, CANDICE RUUD, EMILY DOOLEY

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