Miles of motivation: Cheering fans help runners complete longest leg of New York City Marathon in boro • Brooklyn Paper

Miles of motivation: Cheering fans help runners complete longest leg of New York City Marathon in boro

Jersey avenger: New Jersey teacher David Roher dressed as Iron Man for the New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Photo by Jason Speakman

It was a marathon day!

More than 51,000 runners slogged through Kings County as they ran the longest leg of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, where they were cheered on by a crowd packed with young Brooklynites that made the roughly 11-mile stretch a breeze, according to a participant.

“It’s my favorite part,” said David Roher, a history teacher who traveled from New Jersey and ran in an Iron Man costume. “Brooklyn has the most diverse crowd, and it’s certainly the most packed with kids.”

The athletes, the first of whom set off at 8:30 am, started at the Staten Island end of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge before crossing into Brooklyn, where they ran much of the first half of the 26.2-mile odyssey before crossing over the Pulaski Bridge in Greenpoint to continue the race in the outer borough of Queens.

More than two million spectators greeted the runners throughout their five-borough journey, and Kings County fans hoisted a collection of comical signs, including one Boerum Hill resident who brandished a poster that read “Worst parade ever!” as competitors whooshed by.

The supportive local came out to cheer on a friend participating in the event, she said, but got just as much pleasure rooting for the strangers who passed her on Fourth Avenue near 10th Street in Park Slope.

“I didn’t think it would be as fun as it was,” said Monica Zahm.

A massive security presence joined the spectators at the marathon, which the New York City Police Department’s Chief of Department Carlos Gomez promised would be “a very safe event” following the car-borne terrorist attack that killed eight people in Manhattan last week.

The heightened safety measures included unformed patrolmen and parked heavy-duty sand-trucks to protect crowds on the street, and sniper and rooftop-observation teams that kept a lookout from on high, according to Gomez.

Postal-service workers assisted in the day’s security, too, installing special devices that locked 40 mailboxes along the race route in Brooklyn to prevent terrorists from using them as explosive traps, according to a United States Postal Service spokesman.

And after straggling competitors, crowds, and cops cleared the course, the city deployed a small army of sanitation workers to sweep up the sea of green paper-cups that runners left in their wake, according to a Department of Sanitation spokeswoman.

The agency rep couldn’t say just how much junk its employees picked up this year, but if the 84 tons of textiles, 4.7 tons of paper, 82.68 tons of litter, and 2.08 tons of metal, glass, and plastic collected in 2016 are any indication, the cleaning crew had a busy day.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Funny fan: Boerum Hill resident Monica Zahm cheered runners with a humorous poster she made.
Photo by Jason Speakman

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