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Brooklyn Marathon a runner’s high for borough’s joggers

The Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

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Community runners: Nearly 500 runners participated in the race.
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Crossing the finish line: Winner Ben Lesse crosses the finish line of the 26.2-mile race with a time of two hours and 37 minutes.
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Girl power: Samantha Bower of Philadelphia was the first female to cross the finish line at the Brooklyn Marathon.
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Glory days: Samantha Bower, the first female to cross the finish line, clocked in at three hours and three minutes after she completed the 26.2-mile through Prospect Park’s loops and curves.
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Runner up: Bill Wakowicz (right) of the Upper East Side was the second-place winner in the Brooklyn Marathon. He crossed the finished line at two hours and 38 minutes.

Who needs the ING New York City Marathon when you can run 26.2 miles without leaving the borough?

Nearly 500 distance runners pounded the pavement on Prospect Park’s curvy loop — and it’s notorious hill — on Nov. 18 for the second annual Brooklyn Marathon.

And this year’s winners made the borough proud.

Brooklynite Ben Leese — a member of the North Brooklyn Runners club — was the first one to cross the finish line, finishing six full loops around the park and three smaller ones in a course record of two hours and 37 minutes

Crown Heights runner Samantha Bower was thrilled to set a new women’s record with a time of three hours and four minutes.

“It’s an indescribable feeling. I’m still riding on cloud nine,” said Bower, after completing her third-ever marathon. “Brooklyn is such a unique borough and it’s really neat to take part in something that’s so community based. There was so much support in and around the park.”

Brooklyn Marathon organizers tried to increase the number of runners from 500 to 1,500 after Hurricane Sandy led to the cancellation of this year’s ING New York City Marathon.

But Prospect Park officials nixed their request, saying they couldn’t make space for the added runners with the park’s roadway serving as a staging area for emergency service equipment following the storm.

Still, members of the Asics-set say it was a race to remember.

“It was spectacular,” said Brooklyn marathon organizer Steve Lastoe of NYCRuns. “We had a very enthusiastic crowd and everybody had a good time. It was a true community event in every sense of the word.”

And marathon planners even changed things up a bit this year and dished out a luscious piece of cheesecake from Cousin John’s Bakery to all finishers.

“That was a special touch,” said Bower. “It was so good.”

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Reader Feedback

PM from Cobble Hill says:
So does the writer not know her "its" from "it's" or is the copyediting just non-existent here?
Nov. 20, 2012, 10:49 am
JAY from NYC says:
I am sooooo glad to see an viable alternative to the new york road runners events. I am so sick of the NYRR charging 40 bucks for a 5k race. I am sick of them trying to "run" other running organizations out of town.
The people who put on the Brooklyn marathon get it, its about running and the sport, not corporate sponsorship so a bunch of part time wanna be socialites can get a big pay check for living off of city resources. Great job by NYCRUNS, and they also do a lot of other races throughout the calendar year for a FRACTION of the cost of NYRR races and with alot less hassle.
NYRR ING Marathon entrance fee: $260, Brooklyn Marathon fee, $60 bucks. Seeing NYRR suck eggs: priceless!
Nov. 20, 2012, 5:54 pm

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