New York Marathon didn’t work out, but Brooklyn’s did

Making strides: Brooklynite Ben Lesse was the winner of the second annual Brooklyn Marathon. He completed the 26.2-mile course around Prospect Park in two hours and 37 minutes.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

New York City didn’t get its quintessential marathon this year, but Brooklyn did get its second annual race.

Nearly 500 long-distance runners pounded the pavement on Prospect Park’s curvy loops and hilly trails in the Brooklyn Marathon on Nov. 18.

“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.”

Runners lapped six full loops around the park and three smaller ones to complete the 26.2-mile course.

Brooklynite Ben Leese crossed the finish line at two hours and 37 minutes, making him the marathon’s winner.

Samantha Bower of Crown Heights was the first woman to cross the finish line 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 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.”

Race organizers changed things up a bit this year and dished out a luscious piece of cheesecake from Cousin John’s Bakery to all participants at the end of the race.

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

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