Anthony Watson, coach of the Prospect Park Track Club, recently entered 19 athletes into the 19th annual Cosme’s 5K Boardwalk Charity Run in Coney Island.
Watson, himself, competed in the event and covered the 3.1 mile boardwalk course in 19:36.23 for overall 25th place in a field of about 350 entrants.
Matt Strawn became the Club’s top runner turning in a 19:18.27 for 22nd place.
Watson certainly enjoys running in this event, benefitting the Coney Island Sports Foundation last Sunday morning when the weather was sunny and on the warm side.
The 53-year-old Watson, originally from Jamaica, West Indies, said that the boardwalk is not in the best condition for a personal best performance, Watson wound up third in his 50-59 age bracket in the age group race that offered plenty of awards.
“The race was good and my team (PPTC) ran well,” he said. “We all ran yesterday (last Saturday) when we had our picnic and relays. A lot of us were tired from that. And we did well. This is my second time that I ran on this boardwalk. I don’t like running on the boardwalk, for I rather run on the flats, streets or in the park. It’s flatter. Some of the boards are uneven. And there are (also) some nails on the boardwalk. But it was a nice race.”
Watson is gearing up for the Fifth Avenue Mile set for the fall.
Watson has been coaching for 35 years, including five and a half with the Prospect Park Track Club.
Meanwhile, Fikadu Lemma of Ethiopia presently running for the West Side Runners, captured the race in 15:23.18. The 27-year-old Lemma led all the way as he ran at a 4:58 pace for the event in his debut in Coney Island.
He led a 1-2-3-4-5 finish for his club as they took the team title in the boardwalk race. And he will enter into the New York City Marathon once again come November.
Francis Warner, 27, was clocked in 18:59.35 for 20th position in the standings. James McFarland, 55, a veteran in these races, ran a 21:10.11 for 47th place.
Warner, a former runner on both the track and cross country teams at South Shore High School, was an outstanding steeplechaser during his time. Warner’s father comes from Barbados.
“In the race (last week), we ran at a really fast pace,” said the resident of Old Mill Basin about his debut on the boardwalk. “It was comfortable and a lot better than running on the road. I ran a 5:55 for my first mile.”
Warner does most of his workouts at Marine Park on the weekends.
McFarlane, who originally hails from Panama, and now living in Ridgewood, Queens, already ran in 18 New York City Marathons and is not going into it this year.
“Marathons took its toll on me,” he said. “We ran a great race (in the Cosme’s 5K) on a beautiful course. This race brought people together. We had a great crowd. I have known Cosme (Ed) for many years. I’m happy to help contribute to this event.”
Behind Lemma were Elmwtafa McHkirate, who was timed in 16:27.74, Javier Rodriguez (16:33.23), Angel Confessor (16:23.81), Richard Cuchuizo (16:43.83), Alvin Cruz (17:03.76), Gabriel Corchado (17:13.17), Georgiy Polyak ( 17:22.35), Julio Sauce (17:26.75), and Garland Days (17:29:58).
Mary Curran became the first female to cross the finish line as she was timed in 20:11.08 for overall 34th.spot.
Once again the race, the second leg of a Triple Crown, was an extreme success. All the competitors and race officials were very delighted with the outcome. And the great weather helped make it favorable for all concerned.