NYC Marathon goes on amid heavy security

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The New York City Marathon cruised through the five boroughs Sunday under unprecedented security as 47,000 people ran in cool temperatures and a stiff wind from the north.

This year’s race marked the return of the 26.2-mile race after it was canceled last year because of superstorm Sandy. The NYC Marathon also came nearly seven months after the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260.

April Rosequist, 39, a music teacher from Port Jefferson Station, ran the marathon for the first time, finishing in 4 hours, 42 minutes and 40 seconds.

“It was amazing — the crowds cheering and me high-fiving everyone,” said Rosequist, a member of the Greater Long Island Running Club who was to run last year’s race. “The marathon just shows the strength of New York City and showed nothing can hold us down.”

Rosequist was on the course more than two hours longer than Katie DiCamillo, a graduate of Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville, who finished second among U.S. women runners and 15th among women overall, according to the race results.

David Rockitter, 50, an insurance adjuster from Wantagh, also ran his first NYC Marathon Sunday, finishing in 4 hours, 17 minutes and 17 seconds.

“It was great, but tough,” Rockitter said after the race. “I wrote my name on my bib and people called it out — that great energy from the crowd helps you finish.”

Spectators lined the route in support of the runners and mindful of the significance of this year’s race.

Janet Hyland of Rockville Centre and Anne Fabiano of New Hyde Park stood at Fourth and Atlantic avenues in Brooklyn to cheer on former colleague Patricia Farrell, chief nursing officer at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.

Farrell’s Long Beach home was damaged by Sandy, Hyland said, but her friend was determined to train for the marathon.

Hyland said she has been attending the marathon for years, and cheered for her son at the Boston Marathon in April.

“I was only three blocks away from the explosion,” she said.

Hyland admitted she had “a little bit of anxiety” when she arrived in Brooklyn via the Long Island Rail Road.

“I just had a weird deja vu just for a minute, but then it went away,” she said. “We’re not going to cower to the fear. We’re going to move past our fear because we’re New Yorkers and we’re Long Islanders, too.”

Hyland acknowledged the extra security. “Security is really tight,” she said. “There’s limited garbage cans along the way” because of Boston.

Runners had to file through a security checkpoint before the race started. Blue police barricades blocked intersecting streets and police cruisers and ambulances were evident along the route.

The heavy security included at least one bomb-sniffing dog near the finish line, barricades around Central Park to limit entry points, bag checks and scuba divers in the waters. There are also about 1,500 cameras along the route, police said.

Increased security didn’t dampen the race’s sideline festivities.

The band Hell or High Water began its set with “Proud Mary” shortly before 9 a.m. as wheelchair racers whizzed by. Guitar player Tom Wipf, 57, of Park Slope, said the group had played at the marathon for five years.

“We’re glad to be back. We understood all the decisions that had to be made,” he said of last year’s cancellation. “We stay here until the very last runner goes by. Every single runner has some motivation — whether they’re running for a charity or a personal reason. . . . It’s powerful stuff.”

With Fausto Giovanny Pinto, Ivan Pereira, Marc Beja, Sheila Feeney, Mark Herrmann, Gregg Sarra and Emily C. Dooley

This entry was posted on Monday, November 4th, 2013 at 6:38 pm and is filed under amNewYork, Feature, Hurricane Sandy, Newsday, Print Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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