Jeremy ArbitalJacoby of Albertson remembers the first of his 11 Long Island Marathons. As ArbitalJacoby approached the point where half marathoners would peel off from the full marathoners and head back to Eisenhower Park, he heard the race official announcing, “Sane…Insane!” and directing runners to their respective routes.
You just might have to be a wee bit crazy to run 26.2 miles.
“For the first-time runner, it can be daunting,” admits ArbitalJacoby, a music educator.
Mike Polansky, president of the Greater Long island Running Club (GLIRC), weighed in.
“The course is not terribly challenging from a physical standpoint. It is, however, very challenging from a mental standpoint,” he said, noting that once the half marathoners head back, “the full marathoners now have 16 miles of loneliness ahead of them. There are many, many more half marathoners than full marathoners. You go from running in a pack of runners to running in a very select group of hardy souls. It is not easy to go down the Wantagh to Jones Beach and back essentially all by yourself. You need a lot of mental toughness. Presumably if you are doing a full marathon, you will have properly trained so that you are physically ready…but you need to tough it out mentally to get through the event itself.”
An entire literature has grown on how to train and what to do the final days before the big race. The GLIRC has year-round training and runs for all abilities, and its president has an easy approach to “eve of marathoning” routines: “It’s easier to say than to do, but try to relax,” Polansky said. “You’ve presumably done your training, and your body is ready to go, but try to keep to your normal routine, and not to stress out or obsess about the race. Relax, it’s going to be fun.”
ArbitalJacoby assures that it’s worth the effort.
“You finish a half marathon and it’s phenomenal,” he said. “You finish a marathon and it’s an amazing life experience. It is an incredible goal and you get unbelievable satisfaction when you cross the finish line.”
A Weekend Of It
All of the annual Long Island Marathon Weekend events take place in the area of Eisenhower Park in East Meadow and the Mitchel Athletic Complex, located next door in Uniondale, beginning with the Sports & Fitness Expo on Friday, April 29.
On Saturday, April 30, one milers and 5K runners will start on Charles Lindbergh Blvd and finish on the track inside the Mitchel Athletic Complex. The complex is also the setting for the Kids Fun Run.
On Sunday, May 1, marathon, half marathon and 10K participants start together on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard and finish at Eisenhower Park. Afterward, enjoy the Finish Line Festival featuring live music and refreshments.
See complete information at www.run-li.com.