Bed-Stuy athletes point to marathon

The overall female winner Jessie Petersen of Brooklyn finished in 34:12 and eighth place overall.
Restoration Plaza / Margot Jordan

Time is drawing near and it would not be long now before comes the 2015 edition of the New York City or Five-Borough Marathon. With a short time remaining before the start of the 26.2-mile grind takes place with the start being in Staten island and finish in Central Park, the athletes are cutting down on their training.

Last week on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning some of these athletes competed in a 10K race called the Bedford Stuyvesant-Restoration Corporation one as part as part of their training schedule for the city marathon to be held on Sunday morning Nov. 1.

Even those athletes not competing in the City grind tested the course of the annual 34th annual October event to stay in shape or to run just for the fun of it. One runner who falls into the latter category is Anthony Watson, coach of the Prospect Park Track Club. Watson had competed in the New York City Marathon and its international field.

Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, Watson is 57 years of age and is well known for his running and coaching in a race no matter of its distance. For instance, last Sunday Watson turned in a time of 42 minutes and 17 seconds for a 10K which course ran through Bedford Stuyvesant and its streets of Brooklyn.

His personal best time for this race was 32 minutes some 20 years ago. Watson, who is skipping the New York City Marathon this November, will be concentrating on his job as coach of the adults in the Prospect Park Track Club.

“Running for the Prospect Park Track Club has been great,” said Watson. “I’ve been coaching this club for 13½ years. We put on many events throughout the years,” added Watson.

Watson’s assistant coach is Charlene Kohler-Britton. The duo is still hanging in there as coaches. Some 200 members belonging to this Prospect Park Track Club expect to be competing in the New York City Marathon.

The overall winner of the Bed-Stuy race was Mourad Marofit who is originally from Africa and now makes his home in Roxborough, New York. The winner turned in a 4.42 mile pace on way to a time of

A short distance back and second place finisher was Menlistu Nebsi of Manhattan, who, in his debut in this race, clocked in at 29:36. Birhanu Dare finishing third, who just was nosed out by the second place finisher. Dare was recorded in 29:41.

Abe Shine and Mark Hess finished with times of 29:59 and 31:51, respectively, for fourth and fifth standings in a close field and in an exciting race. Outside of the Africans there were no super stars in the huge field.

Awards went to the first three overall place finishers for both sexes and the initial trio of finishers in their respective age groups.

The overall female winner was Jessie Petersen of Brooklyn. She finished in 34:12 and eighth place overall, two places ahead of Hirut Guangul, who clocked in 34:30. Mariela Quintana’s 38:16 earned her 19th spot. She rounded out the top three female finishers.

All the competitors used the chips and automatic timing system, provided by NYCRUNS, Inc.

There were many first timers in the race last week, among them Brandon Nelson of Fort Greene who ran a 47:14 for 56 place in his longest ever race.

The Bed-Stuy race helped some of the athletes in their training for upcoming events, including marathons.

The officers of the Bed-Stuy Restoration Corporation along with the race committee, staff, timers, and volunteers all helped make the race another success. In addition, the weather was just perfect for the event. One could not ask for a better morning.

Also on hand for the event was Robert Cornegy, a member of the 36th Council District and a former freshman on the St. John’s University basketball team which went to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament, under then coach Lou Carnesecca.

“This is my seventh year involved in this program,” Cornagey added.

Anthony Jones, former track and field and cross country coach at Boys & Girls High School who piloted some great athletes also attended. “This is my 25th year coming to this race,” said Jones.

There were three other events during the festivities -a bicycle run, a walk for those athletes not up to running, and a run for children, all prior to 34th annual Bed-Stuy 10K, which started on Fulton Street near Restoration Plaza, and ended in thr back of the Plaza on Herkimer Street.

“We had a wonderful event,” said Tracey Capers, who along with Debra Jones, were co-race directors. “I thank everyone for being here.”

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