Ex-schoolboy athletes in for running

Two brothers whose father originally came from Cuba, once again really tested the Fifth Avenue Mile course in Manhattan on an almost perfect day for the running sport.

They did not compete in the Professional Category of the event but instead entered into the Men’s Open age group division.

Luis Barbier, Jr., making his second appearance in such a race, turned in what he termed a little disappointing performance after he covered the one mile race that started near 83rd Street and ended near 63rd Street in Manhattan in a time of 6:20.

The 37-year-old Barbier competed in the 35-39 category and ran a faster 6:18 in 2012.

“I want to get close to five minutes,” said Barbier, who runs unattached, after the race,

His favorite distance is anywhere between one mile to a 5K or 3.1 mile event.

A product of John F. Kennedy High School in The Bronx, and Iona College, in New Rochelle, he played football, in both schools and competes in both running and triathlons nowadays just trying to stay fit at his age,

Luis was accompanied to the race by his brother Alfredo Barbier who was recorded in a faster time of 5.55.

“I beat my brother,” said the 36-year-old Barbier. “We run pretty much all the races together. This is one more race to get as closer to qualifying for the New York City Marathon next year. We’ll both do it. (This year also).

“It’ll be amazing to run in a marathon. We wanted to do it last year but didn’t because of (Hurricane) Sandy. We’ve been training all summer for it.”

A product of Norman Thomas High School in Manhattan and Pace University for his undergraduate studies and Iona College for his Masters, Alfredo Barbier about three years ago first started running. Luis Jr. is also competing in the marathon. They grew up playing baseball in Washington Heights.

Their parents never went in for the running sport and hail from Cuba, and they were never athletic. The two boys eventually picked up the running sport on their own, and saw other people into it. The athletes train in the specious Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

“We try not to train on the tracks,” because it’s kind of boring,” Luis added. “There is a lot of landscape that one can run on in the Park.”

Their father, Luis Sr., who comes from the Caribbean, does not help them with their training but teaches them commitment to the sport of running and never to give up. Senior was more of a boxer than a runner. Now he is 71 years old and is retired but is more involved in boxing.

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