March 23, 2017 Staff Report
The second annual Queens Marathon kicks off this weekend with a free kids race this Saturday, and the formal Marathon on Sunday. Organizers say it is not too late for people to register for the Marathon or to attend either event to cheer on runners of all ages from all over the world.
The inaugural “Kids of Queens” event on Saturday will begin at 9:00 am, where children will run a total of 2 miles between the Unisphere and the Pool of Industry at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. This being the first year that the kids race was introduced, registration for children was free in order to encourage youth participation in running and fitness.
“Instead of staging so many endurance events throughout the year, the Queens Distance Runners would like to build our Youth Running Program,” said Montalvo.
Both the Kids of Queens race and the Queens Marathon are organized by the Queens Distance Runners, a running organization that was the brain child of Jackson Heights native Kevin Montalvo, who founded the group in 2013.
The formal Queens Marathon will take place on Sunday at 8:00 am, but runners are asked to arrive at the Unisphere at 6:30 am and be ready at the start line at 7:45 am.
Scheduled subway repairs and train delays are expected so organizers of the race are asking participants and spectators to schedule accordingly.
“We expect to see hundreds of runners, volunteers and spectators attend, with marathon runners from all over Queens already registered, including competitors visiting from Brazil, Argentina, Sweden, Colombia, and Germany,” Kevin said.
The course consists of four loops around Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which measures a total of 26.2 miles. Cheering sections are pictured on the right, with the full course pictured below.
Participants who finish the marathon in under six hours will receive a medal for running in the event.
Additional awards will be given to the top three male and female runners overall. Awards will also be presented to the first three finishers in each of the following age groups: 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 and over.
All registrants will receive a Queens Marathon T-shirt, a microchipped bib that will record each participant’s time and distance, and an “It’s In Queens” care package sponsored by the Queens Tourism Council, full of giveaways, discounts and amenities centered around the borough and participating businesses.
If anyone would like to register for the Marathon that has not had a chance, they can do so at the Queens Center Mall this Saturday between 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, or they can sign up at Flushing Meadows Park the morning of.