Registration for this Sunday’s Catholic Health Services’ four races — marathon, half-marathon, 10k and 5k — are still open. This year’s fifth annual race will be specially dedicated to all D-Day and World War II veterans in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy.
“The Suffolk County Marathon has become an annual rite of passage for runners and families all across Long Island,” said Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone. “Not only does this year’s race add new features for our runners, such as a 10k race, the event will be dedicated to the veterans of the Greatest Generation as we mark an important milestone, the 75th anniversary of D-Day, one of the most significant military operations in history.”
The marathon will start and end, for the fourth consecutive year, in Patchogue Village with a FreedomFest: Taste of Long Island festival throughout the day on Sunday, Oct. 27.
This year’s race will also feature, for the second time, a County Executive’s Cup, the trophy that active duty military personnel who participate in the full marathon are eligible for. The trophy will be awarded to whichever military branch finishes with the top score overall and will have their division name engraved on it. The winners will be able to take the trophy back to their base until next year’s race. In order to participate, there must be a minimum of five people per branch, and they must be registered for the full marathon. Last year’s winner was the Army.
The full and half-marathons and 10k will begin at 8 a.m. on Main Street in Patchogue; the 5k will begin 15 minutes later. The full marathon, of just over 26 miles, will turn around at Heckscher State Park, the 13.1-mile half-marathon will turn around at Bourne Mansion in Oakdale and the 5k will turn around just past Nicholls Road in Blue Point. Each trek has promises of South Shore beauty, running through Patchogue, Blue Point, Bayport, Sayville, Oakdale and Great River.
The event also provides for a virtual run. By registering for the virtual race option, runners can complete the 5k, 10k, half or full marathon anywhere and at any time. All virtual run registrants will receive the same race registration packet, including a finisher’s medal and commemorative T-shirt, as those participating in the actual event, but will not be eligible in the competitive awards categories.
Runners can still sign up all the way through the Sports and Fitness Expo to be held at St. Joseph’s College on Friday, Oct. 25 from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thus far, just over 1,752 runners have signed up; a total of 2,585 runners signed up to run last year. October, according to a marathon spokesperson, is their biggest enrollment month.
The Freedom Fest will take place on Main Street in Patchogue at 9 a.m., shortly after the first 5k runners finish and just before the first half-marathoners will finish. The event will feature two stages of live musical entertainment and include dozens of vendors that will highlight local craft breweries, award-winning wines and local food and produce, hosted by the Blue Point Brewery. The street festival will include many family-friendly activities, including pumpkin painting, lawn games and a car show.
Each community has their own live entertainment, music and cheerleaders to cheer on the runners and St. Joseph's College will host the Children’s Fun Run on Saturday, Oct 26, prior to the marathon. The race is open to children 12 and under, and medals will be awarded to all child participants.
For more information on the marathon, half marathon, 5k and relay race or to register, please visit www.suffolkmarathon.com. Online registration ends tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 25.
The Suffolk County Police Department has identified major intersections for crossing traffic north and south of Montauk Highway. Roads will close at 7 a.m. Roads will be reopened in sections beginning in Great River and ending in Patchogue as soon as the last runner leaves a community. It is expected Great River roads will reopen around noon and all roads will be reopened at 2 p.m. Patchogue will reopen after Freedom Fest at 4 p.m.
SCPD will have 144 identified posts with a combination of officers, auxiliary police, crossing guards and public safety. The neighborhood fire and EMS volunteers will be patrolling their community as normal.
Catholic Health Services, with its partners Hunter Ambulance and Progressive Emergency Physicians, is the provider of race medicine and will be overseeing the medical needs of all runners. The CHS Race Medicine Team will have vehicles deployed throughout the course, as well as teams of physicians, nurses, advanced practice professionals and support staff staffing eight first aid tents and a field hospital to ensure the safety of all participants.
County exec anticipates event
County executive Steve Bellone has been preparing to run his fifth marathon. This year he is looking forward to meeting Patchogue mayor Paul Pontieri at the finish line with a “celebratory” beer at the Blue Point Brewery.
“Over the years, my training has gotten shorter and shorter,” he said, displeased with his finish time last year. He hopes that his participation in the Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid last month will help him. “The truth is, though, training for a marathon is different than swimming and biking and running a half-marathon,” he laughed.
His wife Tracey and three children Katie, Molly, and Michael will be cheering him on from the sidelines.
All roads will close by 7 a.m. and reopen no later than 2 p.m. Main Street to Ocean Avenue in Patchogue will be closed for the Freedom Fest until 4 p.m.
The Suffolk County Marathon was first launched in 2015, with the main objective of providing additional support to the more than 90,000 veterans who reside in Suffolk County. Each year, the marathon raises money to benefit veterans and, to date, the Suffolk County Marathon has raised more than $400,000 for local veterans’ services, with more than 9,000 runners participating. Last year’s recipients included: Paws of War, Long Island Cares, America’s VetDogs, St. Joseph’s College, Make it Count, United Veterans Beacon House, General Needs, and the Association of Mental Health and Wellness.
Anthony Perrotta contributed to this report.