Tag Archives: ING New York City Marathon

Record numbers, heightened security at NYC Marathon


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of New York Road Runners

The safest place in the country may have been the route of the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday.

NYPD officers trolled the race, guarding runners and spectators alike, because of terrorism concerns caused by the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year, in which three people died and hundreds were injured.

A record 50,740 runners from around the world competed in this year’s ING Marathon, which was cancelled last year due to tremendous damage by Superstorm Sandy.

“My point of view is you can’t live like that,” said Joseph Gordon, a Queens Village resident who ran the marathon for the first time. “Living in New York it’s dangerous just to step outside my house. The NYRR [New York Road Runners] did a good job being careful and improving security.”

The marathon, which travels 26.2 miles around the five boroughs, featured more police officers along the course than previous years, some with bomb-sniffing dogs. Officers also checked spectators’ bags at certain locations, among various other reported counter-terrorism tactics.

As a result the race proceeded safely and featured fierce competition, dominated by Kenyan runners.

In the men’s race, Geoffrey Mutai defended his NYC Marathon 2011 crown with another win. He finished with an official time of 2:08:24. Priscah Jeptoo won the women’s division with a time of 2:25:07.

Gordon said the return of the race brings the city a little bit closer to normalcy.

“I think it’s really important to New York, the fact that it’s in all the boroughs and a lot of people were affected [by Sandy],” he said. “It’s not something that New York needs, but that the people of New York needed. It’s like a morale booster.”

 

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Street closures: NYC Marathon


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

The following streets will be closed on Sunday, November 3 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the ING New York City Marathon, according to the city’s Department of Transportation.

ROUTES:

Queens Portion

  • Pulaski Bridge (South-bound)
  • 48th Avenue between 11th Street and Vernon Boulevard
  • Vernon Boulevard between 48th Avenue and 10th Street
  • 10th Street between Vernon Boulevard and 44th Drive
  • 44th Drive between 10th Street and Hunter Street
  • Hunter Street between 44th Drive and Crescent Street
  • Crescent Street between Hunter Street and Queens Plaza South
  • Queens Plaza South between Crescent Street and 23rd Street
  • 23rd Street between Queens Plaza South and Queens Plaza North
  • Queensboro Bridge (East-bound)

Staten Island Portion

  • Bay Street between Richmond Terrance and School Road
  • School Road between Bay Street and Staten Island Expressway
  • Verrazano Narrows Bridge to 92nd street

Brooklyn Portion

  • Dahlgren Place between Verrazano Bridge and 92nd Street (North Bound)
  • 92nd Street between Dahlgren Place and 4th Avenue
  • 4th Avenue between 92nd Street and Flatbush Avenue
  • Flatbush Avenue between 4th Avenue and Lafayette Avenue
  • Brooklyn Queens Expressway (South-bound) between Verrazano Bridge and 79th Street
  • 7th Avenue between 79th Street and 75th Street / Bay Ridge Parkway
  • 7th Avenue between 74th Street and 75th Street
  • 74th Street between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue
  • 6th Avenue between 74th Street and 75th Street
  • Bay Ridge Parkway between 7th Avenue and 4th Avenue
  • 92nd Street between Gatling Place and Fort Hamilton Parkway
  • Fort Hamilton Parkway between 92nd Street and 94th Street
  • 94th Street between Fort Hamilton Parkway and 4th Avenue (North-bound)
  • 4th Avenue between 94th Street and Flatbush Avenue (South-bound)
  • Bedford Avenue between Lafayette Avenue and Nassau Avenue
  • Nassau Avenue between Bedford Avenue / Lorimer Street and Manhattan Avenue
  • Manhattan Avenue between Nassau Avenue and Greenpoint Avenue
  • Greenpoint Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and McGuiness Boulevard
  • McGuiness Boulevard between Greenpoint Avenue and 48th Avenue
  • Pulaski Bridge (South-bound)

Bronx Portion

  • Willis Avenue Bridge / Willis Avenue
  • 135th Street between Willis Avenue and Alexander Avenue
  • Alexander Avenue between 135th Street and 138th Street
  • 138th Street between Alexander Avenue and Morris Avenue
  • Morris Avenue between 138th Street and 140th Street
  • 140th Street between Morris Avenue and Rider Avenue
  • Rider Avenue between 140th Street and 138th Street
  • 138th Street between Rider Avenue and Madison Avenue Bridge

Manhattan Portion

    • 1st Avenue between 59th Street and Willis Avenue Bridge
    • Queensboro Bridge (Vehicle Entrance Ramp East-bound)
    • 59th Street between 59th Street Bridge and 1st Avenue
    • Madison Avenue Bridge
    • Madison Avenue between 138th Street and 124th Street
    • 124th Street between Madison Avenue and Mount Morris Park West
    • Mount Morris Park West between 124th Street between 120th Street
    • 120th Street between Mount Morris Park West and 5th Avenue
    • 5th Avenue between 120th Street and 90th Street
    • 90th Street between 5th Avenue and East Drive (Central Park South-bound)
    • East Drive between 90th Street and Central Park South
    • Central Park South between 5th Avenue and 8th Avenue (Central Park West)
    • Central Park Driveway
    • West Drive (To Finish at Tavern on the Green)


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Rockaway Sandy survivor to run New York City Marathon for 20th time


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of John Edwards

Rockaway Park resident John Edwards, 59, was hoping to run the ING New York City Marathon for the 20th time last year, but Mother Nature had other ideas.

The race was canceled due to the massive city-wide damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. But it wasn’t a time for Edwards, who is not related to the politician, and his family to look forward to a marathon anyway.

Sandy flooded his basement, ruining irreplaceable pictures, documents and furniture, destroyed windows in his house and totaled two of the family’s cars. Edwards estimated that the damage cost more than $60,000.

“People were going from house to house helping each other and people were covered with sewer water,” Edwards said. “I don’t think it was time to be celebrating a New York City Marathon when we had people down here who didn’t know what they were going to do the next day.”

Now, nearly a year later, he has repaired his house and replaced items lost, thanks in part to insurance. And as part of his return to normalcy, Edwards is once again gearing up for the Marathon on November 3.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Edwards said. I don’t expect to run fast, I expect to just get through it.”
Edwards, a manager of a bakery on Long Island, began running when he was 27 years old.

At that time he routinely played baseball in Brooklyn bar leagues with friends.

“On the weekend we played ball, ate burgers, drank beer and gained weight,” Edwards said. “But then the groundballs would be going through your legs, because of the gut you’d be growing, so [a friend suggested] let’s go and do a little running.”

Edwards and teammates eventually began entering races and he developed a love for running. In 1982 he entered and completed his first city marathon. Since then he has completed numerous races around the city and his hobby evolved into an addiction of sorts.

As he is training for the Marathon, Edwards wakes up as early as 3:30 a.m. to do daily runs, which can vary from a short three miles to much longer distances, such as a recent 18-mile Marathon prep race.

“I think it’s a combination of sheer pride and natural endurance and then love of the sport,” Mary, Edwards’ youngest daughter, said.

Edwards is known throughout the community as a “running guru.”

He founded the Rockapulco Running Series in 2001, which are various runs in the Rockaways throughout the year, including themed half marathon runs for Christmas, Labor Day and Memorial Day. He is also a member of the local running club the Rockaway Gliders.

Edwards restarted the local Catholic Youth Organization track team at nearby St. Francis de Sales in 1996 so his daughters could run with other youngsters. But even after his children outgrew the league, he continued to train young runners for nearly a decade.

His daughters will now join him in his 20th Marathon. After more than three decades the hobby has become a family bonding activity for Edwards, one that Sandy wasn’t able to break.

“It’s been a way for us to stay connected,” Edwards said. “It’s nice.”

 

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Boston Marathon bombing has races rethinking security


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Now that surviving Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev has been captured and charged with using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, some of the motivations behind the attack are becoming clearer.

Other questions about security and how to prevent future attacks at similar events are under heated debate.

“Thinking about the football season starting or baseball, I don’t think [security is] going to change dramatically,” said David Kearn, an assistant professor in government and politics at St. John’s University.

Sporting venues such as Citi Field and the National Tennis Center are contained locations, he added.

“If you have to go through doors, you can have metal detectors, you can have people doing pat downs, you can have different types of devices to make sure that people aren’t bringing in things that you don’t want them bringing in,” Kearn said.

But he added that an event like the Boston Marathon has large areas that are “virtually unprotected.”

Security measure that Kearn said officials could use in areas where people congregate include mandatory check points.

The JFK 5k Runway Run, an annual race at John F. Kennedy International Airport, already uses similar security measures.

Runners and spectators must pass through security in accordance with the airport’s standards, said Rudy Auslander of the JFK Rotary Club, the event’s sponsor.

He said while they do not have to remove their shoes, all entrants are screened. Buses take runners out to the runway, and spectators are kept in an area near the line where the race both starts and finishes.

Other races in the city are designed differently, with spectators throughout the route, making similar security measures difficult.

The New York Road Runners (NYRR), who organize races including the ING NYC Marathon throughout the year, implemented enhanced baggage security following the Boston attack.

Runners who want to check their bags at one of the races must place them in a clear plastic bag and leave them in a designated zone that participants cannot enter. NYRR also has the right to search any bag in or outside the baggage area at any time, and an unattended bag can be confiscated.

“The safety and security of all New York Road Runners’ races is and will always be our top priority,” the group said in a statement. “A number of significant measures have been put in place in recent years, and we will work closely with the NYPD over the coming days and weeks to further evaluate security at races. We will continue to work hand in hand with the City of New York and the NYPD as we plan for all upcoming events.”

Kearn said these security measures would “draw more resources and more man power. You might be able to have volunteers do some of that stuff in terms of just checking bags, but you will have to have more folks checking and looking around in the future.”

 

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