This is the month when the athletes are cutting down on their mileage of their training for the big event — that is, the New York City Marathon. This event is staged on the first Sunday of November and starts in Staten Island and finishes in Manhattan’s Central Park.
Athletes storm New York from all over the world to compete in the grueling event. And running such a long distance needs great preparation and takes a lot out of an individual.
Originally from Trinidad, where he resided for his first 10 years and played soccer and cricket, and now living in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Kirt Joseph, a former schoolboy sensation while at Brooklyn’s Grady High, is preparing for the grind.
There is no better way of training than by entering into a five-mile road race and the last one was held in Bay Ridge. While Joseph did not win it, 25-year-old Angel Confessor of Brooklyn led all the way and captured the five-mile race in 27:07.04. Joseph wound up sixth overall in 28:26.60 and first overall in his 30-39 age bracket of the age group event.
Confessor, who hails from Mexico, finished strong; he is not competing in the 26 mile 375 yard race.
Joseph is a veteran marathoner and has been preparing well for this upcoming race. His goal is to run a 2:35 in the New York City Marathon. The 39-year-old Joseph, who had attended Delhi University, has been at this sport for more than 20 years. His best time for the marathon is 2:40 turned in last year.
“I don’t know why I always struggled in the New York City Marathon,” he said. “After I run the New York one, I’ll limit myself to one a year. New York, and concentrate on half marathons and 10Ks. I’m getting a little too old to do the marathon.
“I’ll go out much slower in this year’s New York City Marathon than I did last year when I went through the first half in 1:15, which was must too fast. I’ll slow down to do a 1:18.”
Joseph made his debut in the 22nd annual Police Officer Chris Hoban Memorial Run that only had two hills last week. Going into the race, he thought that it would be hilly, but it wasn’t.
“The course was nice and flat,” he went on. “It was a beautiful race and we had a nice day, too.”
Joseph will compete in three more races before the big one.
While Joseph placed sixth in the race, and Confessor came victorious a good distance ahead of runner-up Javier Rodriguez 27:25.52. The remainder of the top five included Troy Squire, who posted a 27:25.94 for third spot, Jose Benitez, placed fourth in 28:09.87 and John Montes fifth in 28:19.66. Benitez is shooting for a 2:45 or faster in the upcoming event.
Another runner from Trinidad, Collen Lynch clocked in 35:16.01 for 62nd place overall.
“I’m concentrating on my speed and short distances,” said the 47-year-old Lynch. “In my country a marathon takes a lot of hours of training. After the marathon, it takes a lot of time to recuperate. We ran on a very fast and good course (today), in my second time in this race. What you put in is what you get out.”
While Colleen attended high school in Trinidad, he was a distance runner. He progressed to do a 5K in Trinidad, where he was also a right winger in soccer.
Lynch, a resident of Glendale, Queens, and a former student at SUNY New Paltz, is now preparing for a Bed-Stuy Restoration 10K on October 10.
Another runner, Americo Ceballos at 55 years of age is hoping to get into the New York City marathon next year. He is coming off a 30:26.37 performance for 18th place overall and third place in his 50-59 bracket. Originally from Venezuela, Ceballos lives in Williamsburg.
A total of 612 runners completed the course on an ideal morning for the running sport.