Runners prep in Brooklyn for the big NYC Marathon

This is the time of the year when long distance runners are training hard and stepping up their mileage for the upcoming New York City Marathon this November. They are not only running in the streets and in various communities and parks, but they are also entering into numerous races on weekends.

Take for example, 37-year-old Lyle Kirlew of Uniondale. Kirlew entered into the recent Brooklyn Half Marathon which started by the Brooklyn Museum outside of Prospect Park and ran to Coney Island’s boardwalk with most of the action along Ocean Parkway.

Kirlew covered the 13.1 mile course in 1;20.30 for 140th place overall in a field of almost 17,000 entrants.

“The course was nice and flat near the end but challenging at the beginning,” Kirlew said.

A native of Jamaica, West Indies, where he resided for his first 11 years, Kirlew about four years ago picked up the sport of running and said: “I want to run a marathon.”

He is getting ready for the upcoming race training both in Brooklyn and Long Island. His personal best times include 1:20.13 for a half marathon and 3:09.11 for a full marathon, which is 26.2 miles. Now his goal is to get under three hours in the New York City Marathon.

Kirlew and the rest of the field enjoyed last week’s race when the weather was just sunny and delightful, a tremendous morning for a half marathon. Everybody enjoyed the weather as athletes came from all over the met area, and some from all over the United States.

Tesfaye Assefa Dube was one runner who took the course to his liking. His appearance in the race raised the level of competition as the first two place finishers were really the class of the field.

Dube was clocked in a fast 1:03.18 to Mengsti Tabor Nebsi’s finish of 1:30.20. Eric Chirchir of Jackson Heights wound up third in 1:04.19.

Originally from Ethiopia, now living in The Bronx, Dube went to the front of the pack right after the start. He is accustomed to the course for he ran in the same event a number of times prior to the recent one.

“I went out for the first two miles a little aggressive and up front,” said eventual fourth place finisher Nick Arciniaga, who was clocked in 1:05.29. “(Duba and Nebsi) caught up and went by me around the three mile mark. I tried to hang on to them, but they took off.”

Jason Hartman of Boulder with a 1:06.21 clocking rounded out the top five finishers..

On the distaff side, Tinbit Weldegebriel of Manhattan was clocked in 1:15.22 for first place among the females and 49th overall and just edged Hirut Beyene also of Manhattan. The latter was timed in 1:15.27 for 50th position.

The marathon even drew many females, including several who were returning to the race after having taken time off for various reasons. The New York Road Runners Club, the organization that conducts the New York City Marathon and numerous other races, including half marathons, and other events did a tremendous job in once again staging the Brooklyn Half Marathon; the course was slightly modified from last year.

“We think it was a fantastic course, because we didn’t loop the runners inside Prospect Park,” said a spokesman from the host club.

“We thought that it was a great experience for the runners. The community along Ocean Parkway (and Coney Island) has been great because we left both service roads left open. It worked very well for the community as well as for the participants.”