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Manhattan man wins Long Island Marathon; ex-Manhasset resident 1st in female competition

Carrying a deck of cards because he's a

Carrying a deck of cards because he's a magician is the men's full marathon first place finisher Oz Pearlman of Manhattan on Sunday May 3, 2015 Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Two runners, one with Long Island roots, won the Long Island Marathon Sunday as thousands competed on a warm spring day.

Oz Pearlman, a magician by day from Manhattan, flashed a deck of cards as he crossed the finish line. Pearlman, also a mentalist, clocked in at 2 hours, 25 minutes and 25 seconds.

"It was hot," Pearlman, 32, said moments after winning the 26.2-mile race and the men's division. He said the temperature, which reached into the 70s, came as a surprise.

Kelly Gillen, 32, also of Manhattan, finished first in the women's division in 3 hours, 3 minutes and 57 seconds. Gillen, formerly of Manhasset, recently received her doctorate in breast cancer research from Cornell University. She won the event in 2013.

The race behind her, Gillen became sentimental about her Long Island past and her first efforts in track and field.

"I went to Manhasset Middle School," she said. "My first races were in . . . [Eisenhower] Park."

Pearlman said he finished the Boston Marathon two weeks ago in 2:25:31, adding that Long Islanders "showed their spirit" during the race. "It was a lot of fun."

The event draws elite athletes as well as legions of runners who take a more whimsical approach. Dressed in a polka-dot clown suit -- with makeup and a rainbow wig, too -- Jason Orsini ran the half-marathon this way for the second year in a row.

Orsini, 35, of Levittown, "started sweating the first mile," he said. A marathoner for 16 years, he said: "I'm past my peak . . . so I decided to do something fun."

Ethan Hauser, 36, of Lindenhurst, wore green face paint and a Hulk costume. "Since I'm not coming in first, I might as well have fun," he said.

Last year, "I almost ran over Chuck Schumer," he said of New York's senior senator, who traditionally gives high-fives to runners at the finish line.

Schumer was at the finish again Sunday, and offered a shoulder pat to an older man who collapsed at the finish line and had to be taken away in a wheelchair. To a woman with dry heaves, he said, "Good job."

The marathon began at about 8 a.m. as fireworks and sunny, cool weather greeted runners at the starting line on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard near Museum Row.

From the start, they headed west in a loop around the Nassau County Hub. The route went north through Westbury Village and south along Wantagh Parkway to Sunrise Highway, where runners made a hairpin turn to head back north to the finish line at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

The event, which started in the 1970s as a marathon, has grown into a weekend of events including a half-marathon, 10k race, 5k race and a 1-mile run. It ended with a music festival.

Supporters lined the route to rally the competitors, thrusting signs and bellowing names above the din of the crowd.

"Go mom!" screamed Elyse Smith, 7, who was perched on her uncle's shoulders and called to her mother, Juliene Bel-Smith.

Jessica Ramsay, 37, of Hampton Bays, was back for the first time since giving birth to three children in the past four years.

"I'm just looking forward to going out and running without a stroller," Ramsay said before the race.

With Candice Ruud, Laura Albanese, Jordan Lauterbach, Amy Onorato, Tara Conry and Alison Bernicker

New York Sports