(HAUPPAUGE, NY March 2, 2015)—Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced the launch of “Faces of the Race,” a campaign to highlight runners registered for the inaugural Suffolk County Marathon & Half Marathon in Support of Veterans on September 13.
“Many of these runners have compelling stories, have overcome adversity or personal challenges to compete,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. “Some are running to honor members of the military or people lost in the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Others are signed up for this first Suffolk marathon so they can be a part of history. We welcome everyone to join this marathon, which highlights the scenic beauty and the buzzing downtowns of Suffolk County.” The County Executive also will run the full marathon.
The "Faces of the Race" feature will appear regularly on the Suffolk Marathon website at suffolkmarathon.com and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/stevebellone .
Among the hundreds of registered marathoners so far are Pete Hawkins of Malverne, a wheelchair champion racer who has competed in marathons around the world, and Erin Henderson, a former Long Islander who now lives in Wyoming with her husband and 12 children.
Also running are Staff Sgt. Joshua Gravett, an Army recruiter in Selden, and Joi Jackson-Perle of Wainscott, who is running in honor of Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter from Sag Harbor, who was killed in Iraq in 2008.
The races will raise funds to expand and enhance veterans' services in Suffolk County. It also is a last-chance qualifier for the Boston marathon.
The marathon has a distinctly planned route that was designed to showcase and drive tourism toward downtowns along the Great South Bay. The race, which is a Boston Marathon qualifier, will begin and end at Heckscher State Park in East Islip with a Taste of Long Island wine and food festival to end race festivities. Suffolk County has partnered with New York State to host this inaugural event.
For some race participants, the Suffolk marathon is their first full marathon, while other registrants have been competing in marathons, tough mudder races and triathlons for years.