Catholic Health Services’ 3rd Annual Suffolk County Marathon
October 29, 2017 - 8:00am

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Faces Of The Race

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Thousands of people are signing up to run in the Catholic Health Services’ 2nd Annual Suffolk County Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K on October. 29. From people participating to meet health goals to teams of veterans running in honor of their colleagues, all have inspiring stories to tell about why they’re running in the Catholic Health Services’ 3rd Annual Suffolk County Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K Run on October 29.

To share your marathon story with us, email Pam Robinson at Pam.Robinson@SuffolkCountyNY.Gov.

To see the 2016 Faces Of The Race, click here.

To see the 2015 Faces Of The Race, click here.


2017 Faces Of The Race

  • Steve Bellone

    Steve Bellone
    Babylon, NY

    Running the Suffolk County Marathon for the third year in a row is both a challenge and a unique way to show our veterans how much they mean to us. I look forward to completing another race in the Suffolk County Veterans Running Series and spending time with so many wonderful runners, spectators and Suffolk County residents.

  • Pam and Anna Robinson

    Pam and Anna Robinson
    Huntington NY, and Washington, DC

    This is our third year participating in this race. We’re thrilled to support veterans, and honor our father/grandfather, who spent 30 years in in the active Army and National Guard, including service in the Korean War.

  • Ray Williams

    Ray Williams
    Smithtown, NY

    I’m running this race is to score points for my running team in the USATF-LI Grand Prix. Go, We Are Athletes!

  • Jun Zhang

    Jun Zhang
    Port Jefferson, NY

    I am running 5K at third annual Suffolk County Marathon, for St. Charles Hospital.

  • Randy Paray

    Randy Paray
    Mount Sinai, NY

    I am running to inspire others promoting a healthy life.

  • JoAnn Lyles

    JoAnn Lyles
    Sag Harbor, NY

    I participate in races in honor and memory of my son, a fallen Marine, LCpl Jordan C. Haerter. Being part of TEAM JORDAN helps to keep his name known when people see us at races and read the backs of our shirts honoring Jordan. He was killed in action on 22 April 2008 in Ramadi, Iraq while posted at a security checkpoint. He and Cpl. Jonathan Yale saved the lives of 33 Marines and over 100 Iraqi policemen and civilians. They were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross For Extraordinary Heroism for their heroic actions that day. I am running the 5K race within the Suffolk County Marathon/ Half Marathon/ 5K and relay. Jordan's Run, Veterans' Memorial 5K Run/Walk is part of the Suffolk County Veterans Run Series.

  • Jamie Ruiz

    Jamie Ruiz
    Levittown, NY

    I’m running the 5k for my dad, a Vietnam veteran.

  • Todd Christenson

    Todd Christenson
    Roslyn, NY

    I am running for our veterans and as a commitment to keep the weight off the weight I lost in 2013.

  • Amy Clarke

    Amy Clarke
    Nesconset, NY

    I run because I can. I’m thankful to have my health and the ability to run. Every run is an achievement and improves both my mind and body.

  • Jennifer Bendl

    Jennifer Bendl
    Wilton, CT

    I wasn’t always a runner. I started shortly after my first daughter was born. I was overwhelmed by motherhood, so I started walking. That walk became a jog, then a run, then a handful of races, then a marathon. Running became a way for me to cope, to self-reflect. Three kids later, I am still running. It’s not to clock a certain pace or fit into my skinny jeans but something so much more important. To teach myself, my kids and my family that grit counts. Persistence. Dedication. It will bring you further in live than you ever imagined possible. I think we all have our own marathons we run through life- while some are legitimately 26.2 mile marathons, most are the ones you don’t earn a medal for.

  • Henry Wang

    Henry Wang
    Flushing, NY

    I am looking to break 3 hours in the marathon.

  • Michele Cayea, Jessica Oelcher, Lissetty Thomas, Jay Schuck

    Michele Cayea, Jessica Oelcher, Lissetty Thomas, Jay Schuck
    Patchogue-Medford Library

    If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

  • Jamie Dwyer

    Jamie Dwyer
    Poughkeepsie, NY

    I'm running the race because I love a challenge and can't say no to one when it comes to physical activity. I think a half marathon is perfect for clearing the mind and pushing yourself to the next level.

  • Allison Backer

    Allison Backer
    Wading River, NY

    I am very excited to be running in the Suffolk County Marathon. I have run numerous marathons in the past but this will be my first marathon back since having a baby. I am also a member of GLIRC, so I know this will be a great event!

  • Ryan Allen

    Ryan Allen
    Howard Beach, NY

    I’m running for Angels on the Bay, Inc. a non for-profit children’s charity sponsored by caring individuals who, from personal experiences, have been affected by the heartbreak of children’s suffering. Their mission is to raise funds and awareness to help provide life enhancing services for the chronically ill, developmentally disabled and physically challenged children of our community.

  • Frankie Anzaldi

    Frankie Anzaldi
    Rocky Point, NY

    He is a member of the Rolling Thunder Special Needs Track Program and the Rocky Point Middle School Cross Country Team. Frankie doesn’t allow his epilepsy to stop him. He likes working out and running because it makes him strong. He says he feels proud when he competes. This past summer Frankie competed in the Junior Nationals and USATF Para Youth Championships bringing home a Gold and 2 Silver Medals. Frankie is running the Suffolk County Half Marathon for the second year in a row.

  • Earl, Gene, Joe, Jarrett Parks

    Earl, Gene, Joe, Jarrett Parks
    Deer Park, NY

    We always look forward to the race as this has always been for a great cause!

  • Janet Longo

    Janet Longo
    Coram, NY

    This will be my third Suffolk County half marathon! In addition to supporting our veterans, I will run this race once again as my “Run for Rollstone” fundraiser. The Rollstone Foundation assists families adopting orphans with disabilities. Thank you Suffolk County, this has become one of my favorite races!!!!

  • John Fischer

    Stephen Buckley
    East Setauket, NY

    I’m running for a chance at that "Mountain Top" experience. This will be (God willing ;) ) my 7th marathon and my 2nd Suffolk County... Life has thrown me many difficult challenges and I have used long distance running as a tool to help me get to that place where the head and heart meet... and this seems to be the place where I find a deep abiding peace.

  • John Fischer

    John Fischer
    East Weymouth, MA

    I had signed up for the Suffolk County Marathon with my running partner Erika with the goal of us both qualifying for Boston. Erika has qualified for and run Boston before, but this would be my first time. Erika recently had to back out due to an injury, but she is committed to returning next spring to qualify herself in a different marathon. So I will be running on my own, but still with the same goal to qualify for Boston for the first time! At this stage of my running journey, this has become my Ultimate Goal! I write a blog which tells the story of my running journey at https://10kandbeyond.wordpress.com/

  • Tricia (Brandeau) Drummond

    Tricia (Brandeau) Drummond
    Burke, VA

    I have never run a marathon and figured if I am ever going to then it should be one back home on Long Island. I started running about 4 years ago with a couch to 5K program. I thought it might be fun to see if I could run 3 miles. I quickly moved on to 10K races and three years ago I did my first half marathon. I never imagined doing a full marathon until I heard about the Suffolk County Marathon. I run for those who can’t, for those I miss, and for those I want to inspire. As a teacher I tell my kids they can do hard things, now it’s my turn to prove that to myself.

  • Matthew Spelman

    Matthew Spelman
    New York City

    I am running the Suffolk County Marathon to challenge myself and continue my streak of running a marathon every year in a different location. Last year I ran in Washington D.C.in the DC Marathon and in 2018 I will be running the NYC Marathon. I'm excited to run the Suffolk County Marathon and plan to beat my DC Marathon time last year of 3:17.

  • Elizabeth Hyde-Daddio

    Elizabeth Hyde-Daddio
    Islip Terrace, NY

    I am running the half marathon for the first time. I started running as an overweight teenager with asthma as a way to improve my health and it carried through adulthood. I have since lost 40 lbs and became a Registered Dietitian. I never thought I could compete in any kind of sport because I was never athletic growing up. I was nervous but entered my first 5k five years ago. I found the experience inspiring and I soon began entering more races and my time just kept improving! This will be the longest distance I have ever raced but I'm excited to meet the challenge. I was afraid when I first starting racing but once I just did it, I truly felt the runner's high. I hope to inspire others to overcome fear in order to achieve goals. Most importantly, I especially hope to instill that into my 2 year old daughter Emily. Good Luck to everyone!

  • Jessica Fasulo

    Jessica Fasulo
    Las Vegas, NV

    I am originally from Long Island and all of my family is still there. I ran the marathon last year and it felt so good to be “back home” running on streets I grew up on, and the streets I trained on. I moved to Vegas for a teaching job after graduate school (Adelphi University) in 2007 because the weather is much more conducive to outdoor sports and better for my arthritis. I love Vegas but I miss my family, friends, and Long Island. I really enjoyed the race last year and I am hoping to have a memorable experience this year. The 2017 Suffolk marathon will be my 21st marathon and two weeks after I finish the Suffolk Marathon I will be running my 22nd marathon which is the Vegas Marathon on Nov 12.

  • Marvin and Ria Canita

    Marvin and Ria Canita
    East Meadow, NY

    I started running 6 years ago as a means to lose weight. My father died of a massive heart attack at age 50 and I was afraid I’m heading the same direction. This inspired my wife to join me in training and running. We’ve run a few races together and decided that a relay would be a fun way to get other family members involved. My wife’s cousins, PJ and Charie, who are brother and sister, are also running as part of the team.

  • LeighAnne Bosco

    LeighAnne Bosco
    Levittown, NY

    I only started “running” 3.5 years ago, when i hit rock bottom after the sudden loss of my Dad. It wasn’t until I woke up one day and realized I either needed to find an outlet or reach out for help. With the support of my family, I decided I needed to lose weight and get into shape. I then took a leap and signed up for a 5K with the goal of running the whole race. After crossing my first finish line with a time of 32:09; I fell in love with running. The Suffolk County Half Marathon will be my 5th Half Marathon. I went from not wanting to leave the house to making friends at the gym, at races and meeting people I never would have had I not woke up one morning with the realization that something needed to change.

  • Estella and Robert Clasen

    Estella and Robert Clasen
    Bellport, NY

    I no longer run due to knee issues but I can walk. I love doing local 5K events and this event is turning into a favorite for my husband and myself. I enjoy the camaraderie of the day and the fact that we are raising funds for the veterans.

  • Dr. Hubert Keen

    Dr. Hubert Keen
    Nassau County Community College

    Although I have always been actively involved in sports, I only began running seriously in 2009. I'm running this race because it is a physical and mental challenge that requires dedicated training and execution--I can't resist the challenge. For about three years I ran around 30 races per year. However, for the past two years I decided to set specific races as goals and prepare more for fewer events. I admire and thank County Executive Steve Bellone and his partners for so vigorously promoting services and support for veterans through the Suffolk County Marathon/Half Marathon. It is a great cause.

  • Hilary Topper

    Hilary Topper
    Merrick Woods, NY

    I started running at 48 as a way to get healthy before turning 50. I never ran as a child. I was never athletic. I started with a partner and we ran a bunch of local races and then started to travel a little to various places doing half marathons. However, it was always rough getting through those half marathons. Last year I was accepted into the NYC Marathon and hired Jeff Galloway to help me with his run/walk/run method. As a result, I was able to get through the marathon feeling good and then did another half marathon shortly after that in Miami. I started Team Galloway Long Island as a way to give back. Jeff helped me and I wanted to help others figure out how they can accomplish their goals.

  • Perry Gershon

    Perry Gershon
    East Hampton, NY

    I’ve run more than 20 marathons in my life, but this is my first in Suffolk County. I’m running because I want to raise awareness about my run for Congress CD-1.

  • John McKeon

    John McKeon
    Massapequa, NY

    My reason for running this race is the joy I get from this sport.
    My first experience in running came when I was 10 years old in PAL Track and Field, and ever since then I have never stopped.
    As long as I live I will continue running and competing in races til the very end.

  • Team MAD DaSh

    Team MAD DaSh
    Mecca Baker - Islip NY
    Alegra Eidelman-Williams - Montclair NJ
    Darlene Abraham - Laurelton NY
    Sherrika Fuller - Salisbury NY

    Working Moms who bonded through running! With our husbands and children cheering us on, we will participate in the relay to complete our first Marathon together!! Fitness, friends and fun!

  • Susan and Mike Hanner

    Susan and Mike Hanner
    Vero Beach, FL

    My husband and I did the Suffolk Marathon 2016 . I did the half marathon. My daughter ran the 5k with friends. Mike ran his 1st 26.2 marathon. I did my first marathon the year before in Key West 2015 . We both are in our 60s. We’ve only been running for a few years now. We enjoy this race so much . We are going to be doing this race once again this year . I’m doing the full and Mike the half. This is one awesome race . See you all there...

  • Stephen Norris

    Stephen Norris
    Coram, NY

    This'll be my first time running the Suffolk County Marathon, but I've previously run the Long Island Marathon and it will be my 3rd marathon overall. The reason I'm running the Suffolk County Marathon is because I love the challenge and sense of accomplishment from running this benchmark distance. I have aspirations to run the Boston Marathon one day and I'm hoping to finish in a qualifying time this time or in the near future. I started running five years ago in an effort to be more active to help lose weight and then maintain the 80 lbs I had subsequently lost. As I lost more weight running became easier and easier, which prompted me to run longer distances, leading to participating in road races about three years ago, and becoming a marathoner in 2016.

  • Filomena Scholl

    Filomena Scholl
    Massapequa, NY

    I am running the half marathon. My first ever half marathoner was the first Suffolk half. I have been running it ever since. This will be my third year running it. I started running because it was something that I could do for myself after becoming a mom. Running was my quiet time and still is. I have my best thoughts and ideas when I am running. Running has taught me that I am strong and I can do hard things. I love running this race because it supports the veterans.

  • Joseph Huber

    Joseph Huber
    Pine Brook, NJ

    As a 67 year old I still love running marathons - over 120 of them - and running in support of our veterans is a special honor. I ran this race last year and found it to be one of the most enjoyable, relaxing courses I’ve experienced. Running keeps me young, or at least sustains the illusion that I am!

  • Amanda Leigh Strong

    Amanda Leigh Strong
    East Patchogue, NY

    I am running this Half Marathon for health, well-ness , fitness, and to see my friends! I never liked running as a child, felt like it was a chore, something I had to complete. As soon as I ran my first 5k, which was The Liz Kelly ,Run for the Sun, it certainly changed the way I see things today, a different perspective!

  • Juliet Meltsner

    Juliet Meltsner
    Bay Shore, NY

    I started running sophomore year of college to lose the weight I had gained freshman year. I started to get into a rhythm with my breathing and suddenly, running didn't seem like a chore but rather part of my routine. I participated in my first half marathon in 2013 and didn't do much training but the feeling of crossing that finish line was unbelievable--the sense of accomplishment was overwhelming. After that, I participated in three more half marathons before signing up for a full marathon and began legitimately training. I had run 18 miles on one run and then got peroneal tendinitis a week before my marathon and was devastated. I then signed up for the Catholic Health Services Suffolk County Marathon as motivation to get better and complete a marathon. This marathon is close to family and home which I think will help keep me motivated and in the end, succeed. I am also running this for my grandpa, Papa as he was an avid runner. He will be at the race as well as the rest of my family cheering me on!

  • Robert Shimonski

    Robert Shimonski
    Plainview, NY

    I am currently signed up for the Half Marathon in Suffolk as well as all of the other Veteran series races in 2017. My reason for running this race is simple: it supports Vets and brings community together to celebrate a great cause. I have been running since I enlisted in the Marine Corps back in 1992. I continue to do so to stay healthy and active and participate in about 30-40 events per year. As an active supporter of the military, their families and those who paid the ultimate price for their service, I run this race for you.

  • Julie Noonan

    Julie Noonan
    Boyertown, PA

    I had started running (and losing weight) just 6 months before my breast cancer diagnosis in November 2014. I kept running during my treatments because running was the one thing I could control. I even ran a 10k the day before my 30th radiation treatment. Exactly 1 year and 1 day from the diagnosis, I ran my first half marathon and was hooked. I’ve set a goal to run a half marathon in every state. I grew up in Kings Park and though I moved away 15 years ago, LI will always be “home” to me. When I saw there was a race right in Suffolk County, and it benefited a great cause, I knew I had to come home to run it. Having my stepfather, Jim Kelly, who is a veteran, there to cheer me on will be an added bit incentive for me.

  • Franklin Padilla

    Franklin Padilla
    East Patchogue, NY

    I live in East Patchogue and I love my community I try and support the local merchants as much as possible and go to all the events. Last year I did the 5k; this year I am doing the full marathon. It will be my second one (last year I did the Air Force Marathon) . I am running this for my love of running. I generally do runs to support all kinds of causes but this race is a bit extra special due to the fact I am an active duty veteran and it’s in my town.

  • Kristin Anderson

    Kristin Anderson
    North Bergen, NY

    I ran a race in Suffolk County last year and enjoyed the area; I wanted to explore other races and other communities. I have been a runner all my life. When I was in graduate school, I wasn't able to run as much as I wanted. After I finished school, I started running again. In the past I have run for Team in Training (Leukemia Lymphoma Society) and Autism Speaks. My dad was and my niece currently is in the military (Army), so veteran services are important, especially for veterans who are dealing with the long-term psychological effects of military service.

  • Rachel Toolan

    Rachel Toolan
    Rensselaer, NY

    The 2017 Suffolk County Marathon will be my 14th full marathon. I am excited to run this marathon as the race start and finish are in my hometown of Patchogue.

  • Gigi Becker

    Gigi Becker
    South Huntington, NY

    I started running 5 years ago because I was overweight and getting older. I knew I needed to do something since I was no longer skating on a roller derby team and that was my only physical activity. So I started signing up for a 5k run/walk just about every weekend and that progressed to 10ks, then half marathons and marathons. I have now run in over 310 races since I started. I run as part of Team Chris and with them I feel like I am using my running not only to better myself but to help our troops and veterans with the efforts put forth by Team Chris.

  • Jules Winkler

    Jules Winkler
    Medford, NY

    I’m running the Suffolk marathon for the first time because I want to support veterans. I served in the U.S. during the Korean War.

  • Steven Winckler

    Steven Winckler
    Riverhead, NY

    I have run 5k and 10k and my next goal was to do a half marathon. Since I turned 55 this year I thought it was time.

  • Janine Logan

    Janine Logan
    Hauppauge, NY

    I am participating in the 5K race as a member of the @lihealthcollab team to promote the Long Island Health Collaborative’s Are You Ready Feet? walking initiative and because I know the health benefits of walking are far reaching and help with the management of all sorts of chronic diseases. I am also walking in support of my daughter who has type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition that is better controlled by the steady pace walking affords.

  • Linda Armstrong

    Linda Armstrong
    Floral Park, NY

    I am running the NYC Marathon on 11/05/17 but when I found out about this marathon that so many of my friends are participating in and it falls on my 49th birthday, I couldn’t resist. I asked my husband, George ‘how cool would it be to run a marathon on your birthday?’ and he replied ’not cool to me.’ Nonetheless, I signed up.

  • Terence McCormick

    Terence McCormick
    Lindenhurst, NY

    I’m running the Suffolk marathon because I love running races on Long Island.

  • Robert Wohler

    Robert Wohler
    O’Fallon, MO.

    Dong Ba Thin, 3AM ‘Sappers in the wire.’ Ran to the bunker so fast my glasses fell off. These days I don't run so fast but the challenge of the 1/2 still motivates me. Call me the breeze 'cus I keep runnin’ down the road.

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TRAINING GUIDES & RUNS

June 15 - Super Runner’s Shop in Huntington
July 27 - Southard Pond Park in Babylon
August 17 - Smithtown Running Company
September 14 - Sayville Running Company
September 28 - Huntington

All runs will start at 6:30 PM, and will be followed by refreshments at a nearby watering hole
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DESTINATION SUFFOLK

A marathon & half marathon through Suffolk’s downtowns, parks and waterfronts all in support of our Veterans is sure to be a destination experience.

Hotel packages will fill up fast so be sure to visit the link!

Marathon Hotel Discount