From the greenery of Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, to
the uphill climb on Jericho Turnpike, to a mostly desolate 10-mile stretch
along the Wantagh Parkway, John Buzanea and hundreds of other runners of the
Long Island Marathon know it will be a substantial undertaking.
Sunday's 26-mile, 385-yard trek will take runners from the Nassau Coliseum
then to Brush Hollow Road on the way to the parkway. Once there, marathoners
will run more than 5 miles to Sunrise Highway and double back to finish at
Buzanea, a CPA who lives in East Meadow, has run the half-marathon race,
which also takes place on Sunday, on and off since the early 1980s. This will
be his first time to run the marathon. He hopes to complete the course in less
than 3 1/2 hours - a time that would qualify him for next year's Boston
"It's kind of a goal," said Buzanea, 48, who ran the New York City Marathon
in 2001 in a time of 3:45. "I'm close. I've got my fingers crossed."
Organizers expect about 7,000 participants in the two-day "Festival of
Races" held tomorrow and Sunday - a substantial increase over last year, when
slightly more than 5,600 people took part.
The festival includes the Kidz Fun Run, 1-mile and 5-kilometer races
tomorrow, and the 10k race, half-marathon and marathon on Sunday.
About 5,600 runners already have registered for the marathon and the other
museums, said yesterday. The 1-mile race is an added feature this year. About
611 runners registered for the full marathon, he said, adding that 2008, there
were 460 finishers.
Starting today, there will be a three-day expo at the Mitchel Athletic
attracted 1,700 additional runners.
The marathon "builds morale, especially during these times," Lopez said.
"Financially, things are tough, and this is a great way to build your spirit.
It builds camaraderie. ... It's a euphoric experience."
THE FESTIVAL OF RACES
Tomorrow: 1-mile and 5-kilometer, 8 a.m.; Kidz Fun Run, 1:30 p.m.
Sunday: 10-kilometer, half-marathon and marathon, all at 8 a.m.
Where: Kidz Fun Run begins at Mitchel Athletic Complex.
All other races begin at Charles Lindbergh
Boulevard in Eisenhower Park.
ROAD CLOSINGS SUNDAY
Park Drive. From Parking Field 5 to Merrick Avenue between 7:30 a.m. and
Salisbury Park Drive. From 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m. from Hempstead Turnpike to Old
Merrick Avenue. From 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m. from Hempstead Turnpike to Old
Post Avenue. From 7:30 a.m.-noon from Railroad Avenue to Jericho Turnpike.
Jericho Turnpike. From 8 a.m.-noon eastbound only from Post Road to Brush
Carman Avenue. From 8:15 a.m.-2 p.m. from Nassau University Medical Center
For more information, visit newsday.com or call 516-572-0248.