On a warm, windy morning yesterday at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, more than 5,300 runners, joggers and walkers took part in the Third Annual Allstate Life Insurance(SM) New York 13.1 Marathon® and Karhu 5K road races. The ideal conditions provided some flashy times on the course, and plenty of good times for the thousands of spectators taking advantage of a great spring day.
The half-marathon winner, Teklu Deneke, 32, of The Bronx, by way of Ethiopia, used a strong kick to finish in a speedy 1:05:48 to win by three seconds. Meagan Nedlo, 29, of Marblehead, Mass., blew away the women’s 13.1 field, finishing sixth overall at 1:17:22, nearly nine minutes ahead of the second female competitor.
“I started to push hard around the sixth mile,” said Deneke of his 13.1 victory. “I felt good, it was a good, flat course.”
“The wind and the turns were the real challenge,” said Nello, who was running the course for the first time and led from wire to wire. “When I came up on the second loop by the Unisphere, there were some runners on the first loop, so I had to do some dodging and weaving, almost like an obstacle course.”
In the 5K race that preceded the 13.1, three runners “Beat the Bear,” winning a pair of Karhu shoes for besting the time of Brady Becker of Danbury, Conn., who wore a full bear costume, as event sponsor Karhu means “bear” in Finnish.
Stefano Piana-Agostinelli, 40, of N.Y. by way of Italy, was the men’s 5K winner, clocking in at 17:38. Angelique Demeo, 16, of Staten Island, who runs for Tottenville H.S., was the women’s 5K winner, breaking the tape at 19:08. Paina-Agostinelli and two others beat Becker’s time of just over 18 minutes to win the Karhu shoes through the promotion.
“It was hot in there,” said Becker of the Karhu bear suit. “For the first mile, I felt like I was carrying an animal, and I had to get used to breathing through the bear’s mouth. It was kind of like running in a sauna.”