Get Your Running Shoes Ready

Image: Sandy Dover Creative

It’s time to lace up those running shoes and start training. A marathon and half marathon are coming to Suffolk County.

County Executive Steve Bellone recently announced that Suffolk County will host its inaugural marathon on Sept. 13, 2015.

“The Suffolk County marathon is a mechanism to highlight the incredible communities, natural resources and businesses we have here in Suffolk County,” Bellone said. “Suffolk County is a world-renowned destination. From the Hamptons to our wine country to our amazing downtowns and world-class beaches, we are a destination for tourism, businesses, recreation, and living. Our marathon will give us an opportunity to showcase all of that.”

Called the “Destination Marathon,” the marathon will start at Heckscher State Park, go north to Montauk Highway and head east. It will loop through St. John’s University and past the Bourne Mansion before continuing along to downtown Patchogue. After looping around downtown Patchogue, runners will return to Heckscher State Park via Montauk Highway. Suffolk County partnered with New York State for race coordination and planning and wanted a route that would show off the downtowns along the Great South Bay and hopefully drive tourism.

“The marathon will give the county the opportunity to shine a spotlight on our vibrant downtowns and give our local businesses a well needed boost,” Suffolk County Legislator
DuWayne Gregory said.

The marathon will be a Boston Marathon qualifier and both the marathon and half marathon are part of county’s new “Healthy Suffolk” campaign.

Suffolk County is expecting about 4,000 people to participate in the marathon and the county’s Department of Economic Development expects the marathon to generate about $7.9 million. All of the profits will go to local Suffolk County veteran organizations.

Bellone, who is running the New York City marathon on Nov. 2, 2014, plans to be among the participants in the Suffolk County marathon.