Dec. 27, 2019 By Kristen Torres
The annual Queens Marathon is back for its fifth year—with a record-breaking number of participants expected and an inaugural half-marathon to boot.
The race will take place on March 22 at 8 a.m. and the 26.2 mile marathon course will consist of four laps around Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The event is being organized by the Queens Distance Runners, a club established in 2013 that expects the number of participants in this year’s marathon to reach 1,000.
“Our highest amount of marathon race participants has been 350,” said Kevin Montalvo, the race director and a co-founder of the club. “We have already registered 500 this year and expect to go past 1,000 by race day.”
The March 22 event will also feature a half marathon for the first time.
The club has always wanted to host a half marathon as part of the event but has historically not had enough volunteers to host the two races until now.
“We have over 200 volunteers this year, making it possible for us to have volunteers at every turn for both races,” Montalvo said. “We’re also thinking the half [marathon] will work as a springboard to get people to eventually sign up for the full race.”
The marathon route, which has always involved laps around the park, has changed this year. Participants running the upcoming marathon will have to tackle four laps around the park, while half-marathon runners will do two. In previous years, marathon runners have had to complete as many as six to eight laps.
“People don’t like counting and keeping track of how many loops they’ve completed,” Montalvo said, adding that it’s good they have got the number down. In addition, Montalvo said they have also been able to engineer the course this year with fewer turns.
Runners still have time to register for both races. Prices for the marathon and half marathon are $90 and $45 respectively. Prices will go up on New Year’s Day and again on Feb. 1.
Participants will get to take home a bag full of giveaway items from Queens businesses valued at around $200.
“So many Queens institutions are donating items for the race, it’s not just a celebration of the runners but about the whole borough of Queens through this activity of running,” Montalvo said.
The Queens Post is a sponsor of the event this year.
Registrants for the marathon will also be offered an online training program by Coach Medina NYC, which they can download for free. In addition, Coach Medina NYC, a company run by Luciano Medina, is offering personalized coaching packages for the race.
The Queens Distance Runners Club will also host 10 additional races throughout the year, including a 5k on Feb. 15 and a 10 and 5-mile race on Mar. 8.
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