When the New York City Marathon was cancelled, the Rockland Road Runners sprang into action to help fill the void for local marathoners all tapered down but with nowhere to run. Thus was born the Marathon Alternative, contested Sunday morning, Nov. 4, on the Joseph B. Clarke Rail-Trail between Sparkill and Orangeburg.
The course was a mile-long paved path, with an arched footbridge over Route 303 offering a mini-reminder of the crossings runners would have traversed in the Big Apple trek. The event was billed as a fun run where participants could run as fast or slow as they wanted, and as long or short as they were inclined to. The conditions were excellent for a marathon – sunny with temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees during the course of the race.
Eighteen runners went to the starting line and a marathon rookie emerged as the winner. In her debut at the 26.2-mile distance, Elizabeth Apicella completed the 13-plus loops of the Clarke Trail in 4:02:20. A group of race volunteers was at the finish line to cheer her on and watch her break the victory tape. Elizabeth was all set to run the NYC race and was thrilled when she heard that an alternative race was available locally in which to take part. Congratulations Elizabeth!
Elizabeth was the only entrant to complete the full marathon distance. Many opted to run a half-marathon and completed the remainder of their seventh loop for 14 miles. Alan Young was the leader of that group, completing 14 miles in 1:34:10. Alister Renwick, Jonathan Farrell, Bill Carpenter, Kevin Capasso, Nigel Renwick, Russell Flax and Marilyn Renwick also went 14 miles. Jason Kelly was the leader of the group finishing 12 miles, clocking 1:27:18. Mike Seidenfrau and Trevor Renwick also completed 12 miles, while Carissa Coslit, Laura Longing and her friend Ken also completed 10 miles. Logan Scott, Joann and Joanna started and ran portions of the race, while Stephen Miller and his daughter Ava jumped in for several miles early in the race.
The group raised a total of $540 for People to People in its Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, which included a matching donation by the club. RRR would like to thank all those who contributed so generously to aid the victims of the severe storm. Club president Jamie Kempton delivered the donation to People to People on Monday, Nov. 5.
The club also wishes to thank everyone who volunteered at the race: Bob Hudson, who brought tables, chairs, waste baskets and a cooler of water from his home abutting the trail; Peggy Marzell and Kathy Mahoney, who brought plenty of water and helped at the water station; Michelle Srebnik, for handling the turnaround point so well; Enilda Indyk, for providing split times; Marie Killeen for helping out at the water stop; Bill Carpenter and Jonathan Farrell for their assistance after finishing running; Larry Beckerle and Bob Hudson for helping to pace Elizabeth Apicella in the later stages of the race; Bernie Casserly for providing extra water; and everyone else who brought refreshments.