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Runners ready for LI marathon

Runners begin the 5K run on day 1

Runners begin the 5K run on day 1 of the Long Island Marathon. (April 30, 2011) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

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

area, past Nassau Community College, through Westbury to Jericho Turnpike, and

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

Eisenhower Park.

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

Marathon.

"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

five races, Jose Lopez, commissioner of Nassau County parks, recreation and

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

Complex in Uniondale to help sign people up, Lopez said. Last year's expo

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

9:30 a.m.

Wantagh Parkway. From 7 a.m.-3 p.m. from Northern State Parkway to Merrick

Road.

Salisbury Park Drive. From 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m. from Hempstead Turnpike to Old

Country Road.

Merrick Avenue. From 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m. from Hempstead Turnpike to Old

Country Road.

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

Hollow Rd.

Carman Avenue. From 8:15 a.m.-2 p.m. from Nassau University Medical Center

to Old

Country Road.

 

QUESTIONS?

For more information, visit newsday.com or call 516-572-0248.

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