Spring has sprung, and mild temperatures have brought runners to the roads in droves, many of them training for the dozens of races on the 2012 racing calendar in the city. The next big event is Saturday’s Third Annual Allstate Life Insurance 13.1 Marathon and Karhu 5K, at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.
For the second straight year, there will be a special incentive for runners in the Karhu 5K, as the Finnish shoe company will give a pair of running shoes to the top 10 runners who can outrun a costumed bear, worn by Brady Becker of Danbury, Conn. Others who finish ahead of the bear will receive a free Karhu T-shirt.
The Karhu 5K race will start at 8:30 a.m. on a dedicated course at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The Allstate Life InsuranceSM 13.1® New York half-marathon begins at 9 a.m. in front of Arthur Ashe Stadium and continues around the park, which was the site of the 1939 and 1964 World Fairs. The walker and spectator-friendly course will remain open for 3 hours and 30 minutes, a 16 minute/mile pace. The races provide opportunities for serious runners as well as newcomers to the sport for a fun-filled day in the shadows of the USTA National Tennis Center, New York Hall of Science, the Queens Wildlife Center and the Unisphere.
Last year, six runners “Beat the Bear,” winning a pair of Karhu shoes for besting the time of Mark Carbone, 37, of Bellerose, N.Y.
Registration is currently open at www.131newyork.com. Fees for the 13.1 are $100 walk-up and race week; for the Karhu 5K they are $30 walk-up and race week.