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Scenes from the Long Island Marathon

Lauren Carter crosses the finish line to win

Lauren Carter crosses the finish line to win the women's 10Krun at the Long Island Marathon. (May 5, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Team spirit

If nothing else, the Adelphi University women's field hockey team should be well-conditioned for its upcoming fall season.

Head coach Gloria O'Connor convinced her team -- 14 players and assistant coach Regina Agrusa -- to compete in and complete the 10K race.

For O'Connor, 61, it was her 20th straight year running in the marathon, and her second straight in the 10K. But several of her players hadn't done much running without being in pursuit of a ball.

"It's my first time ever doing anything like this and it was definitely tough and a mental challenge," said Arielle Theofield, a Sayville native and a junior at Adelphi. She completed the course in 52 minutes, 36 seconds. "It was kind of fun, especially doing it with all my teammates, and it's something I might take up."

After the team accepted the challenge, O'Connor put them on a training regimen that included running six miles per day, six days a week.

The biggest difference between the 10K and running during a game, O'Connor said, was there are no clock stoppages in a marathon. No halftime, either.

Molloy Cuevas, a California native, had the best time of the field hockey players, with her 44:14 finish good for sixth overall among women. Teammate Jamie Ackerman of Nesconset was 13th with a 47:51. Kristen Bagley of Holbrook, who has recovered from tears to the ACL in both knees, also completed the course. O'Connor crossed the finish line in 1:07.43.

The event winner in the women's division was Freeport native Lauren Carter, a 27-year-old who clocked in at 38:07.

"This was about us gutting it out as a team and believing there isn't any challenge we can't rise to," O'Connor said. "For them to sign up and go through with this is a big accomplishment."



Rest assured

Aaron Robertson, 35, of Melville slept in yesterday morning. A parttime music teacher in Albany, Robertson wakes up every Monday morning at 3:30 to make the four-hour drive to work. Robertson's alarm rang at 5 on the morning of the Long Island Marathon 10K race.

The extra rest served him well. Robertson placed second in the 10K, crossing the finish line in 35 minutes, 52 seconds.

Robertson suffered a stress fracture in his leg in February of 2012. The 10K marked his first race back after a grueling rehab process.

"It felt great," Robertson said. "I've been waiting a long time to get back. The rehab was awful. I would take take off, then I'd come back and it would still be there. Then, I'd have to take off another couple of months. I did that for a little over a year."

Robertson began running again this February. When he stepped off the starting line yesterday, it was as if he never left.

"It felt like I had been doing it all along," he said. "I just got back into race mode and was on my way."


On the run

Morgan Ward, 16, of Levittown runs every day for the Division High School Track team. What does she do in her off time? Run some more, of course. That's why she took on the task of running the 10K race at yesterday's Long Island Marathon.

"I wanted to do it for fun and say that I did it," Ward said.

She did it in under an hour, finishing the 10K in 55 minutes, 56 seconds.

Running a 10K for the first time, Ward, who is a hurdler for Division, didn't know what to expect when she stepped off the starting line.

"I knew it was going to be difficult, but it was a lot harder than I expected," she said. "You run harder during this than you do when you're practicing because you're in "race mode." But, it was a lot of fun with everyone cheering me on."

As Ward walked away from the finish line, she could barely keep up with all the high fives and congratulatory revelry coming from friends and teammates who had come to cheer her on.

"Seeing them made me run harder towards the end of the race," she said.

After finishing her first 10K, Ward has caught the bug. When asked whether she would attempt another one, her reply was both short and forceful.

"Definitely," she said.



Personal best

Nick Filippazzo, 20, of Wantagh finished second in the Long Island Half Marathon - and that's just fine with him. His one hour, eight minutes and 59 second finish marked a personal best time.

"It's not really about the place I came in," Filippazzo said. "I was going for time."

His previous personal best was 1:09.24.

"I feel really good," he said. "I accomplished what I had to do and I'll be back next year to run another personal best."

It was the second time that Filippazzo ran the Long Island Half Marathon. He ran the full marathon two years ago, but minds the shorter version is more his speed.

"The marathon is a little too long right now, considering that I'm only 20 years old," he said. "With marathons, you're at your best in your late 20's and early 30's. I ran a marathon in the fall and I always manage to hit the wall really hard. I don't ever run a good race (in marathons)."

Filippazzo will spend the summer training to run on the Adelphi Cross Country team in the fall.



Hungry to excel

Eating right is important for runners of all ages. No one knows this more than Stefanie Braun, 22, of Dix Hills. After all, she studied eating right. Braun graduated SUNY-Plattsburg last year with a nutrition degree.

"It really helps," Braun said of how her degree aids her running habit. "I know what I have to eat the day before and what I need to fuel my body. I run lots of miles and am a vegetarian. I know that I need extra protein and, since I can't get it from meat, I get it from fish."

Braun ate a plate of pasta for dinner on Saturday. Before running yesterday, she chowed down on a bowl of oatmeal.

Braun clearly knows what she's talking about. She finished second in the women's half marathon, crossing the finish line in one hour, 20 minutes and 14 seconds.

"I ran my second best time, so I'm happy with that," she said. "I ran a 1:19 last month in Atlantic City, but you can't always have your 'A-game.' I had a very strong finish today. I picked it up in the last mile. I've been working on my kick, so I'm really happy I did that."



Wheel fun

You can't have a much better winning percentage than Malverne's Peter Hawkins. Hawkins, 48, has won the wheelchair Long Island marathon 21 out the last 22 years, according to the athlete.

This year, he was the only competitor - but that does nothing to diminish the accomplishment. He finished yesterday in two hours, 15 minutes and six seconds.

"It was a great day," he said. "I don't think we've had a better day for weather. The wind wasn't bad. The only real bad winds came on Jericho Turnpike, because it was right in our face. On the Wantagh Parkway, where we spent most of the race, it was more of a cross wind."

Hawkins, who rides a red racing wheelchair, said he runs approximately seven marathons a year. The Long Island Marathon holds a special place in his heart.

"It's a hometown race," he said. "It's where I'm from. I hear my name out there so many times that I can't possibly yell back 'thank you' to everybody. It's something I appreciate so much. I just love the support of Long Island."

Hawkins has been in a wheelchair since 1981, when he was injured as a passenger in a car accident. He started wheelchair racing in 1985. He now works as a motivational speaker.

"I've gotten better from just putting the time in," Hawkins said of wheelchair racing. "Knowing that you're not going to have any competition is definitely tough. But, it's a little game you play in your head. I'm looking at the time and am always thinking that a runner is going to catch me. So, it still keeps me pushing hard."


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