Ali Caruana and Ian Stowe win Suffolk County Marathon

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It was, in Ali Caruana’s words, “a perfect day”.

The sun was out. The temperature was mild. The wind was almost nonexistent.

Oh, and then there was the little question of winning the female half of the seventh annual Suffolk County Marathon.

In all respects Sunday was a very good day for the resident of Babylon.

“It was beautiful,” Caruana said.

Caruana, a neurosurgeon at Stony Brook, led the women’s field with a time of three hours and 41 seconds. Ian Stowe, originally from New Rochelle but now living on the Upper East Side, won the men’s race with a time of two hours, 49 minutes and 14 seconds.

Race organizers estimated that more than 2,000 runners competed in a variety of races, including a kids’ 1K, a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon and the marathon itself.

“It was breathtaking,” Caruana said. “It was just… well worth it.”

And it didn’t hurt that she knew the course. Race organizers have developed a new route for the 2021 race, starting in Babylon Village and ending in Gardiner County Park, a path Caruana said she runs regularly with friends.

“I found an amazing group of people that I train with. We get up at four in the morning and challenge each other,” said Caruana, who noted that the only aspect of the class that she hadn’t run before the marathon was the Great South Bay Bridge. “It’s part of my usual loop.”

While Caruana had home advantage, Stowe metaphorically stumbled across the course looking for a race.

“It looked like a nice, flat course for a good cause,” Stowe said, alluding to the fact that all donations were going to Suffolk County veterans. “It was a win, a win, a win.”

Not that he didn’t have his challenges. Specifically, the bridge that Caruana and Stowe independently of each other said was the hardest part of the race.

“I knew I was going to finish strong,” Stowe said. “Whoever was riding a bike with me kept telling me ‘he’s the leader, he’s the leader.’ I really had no idea. And then I slowly caught up. (I) just ran my race and caught it. “

Caruana said: “The return was more difficult because it was like the sun was going down and there was a breeze.… I would probably like to do more practice runs on the bridge just for myself. get used to the wind. “

Neither Caruana nor Stowe immediately knew what their next race would be – Stowe was eagerly awaiting what he called “a nice boozy brunch” to celebrate a friend’s 28th birthday – but both were open to participating. in the 2022 marathon.

“I want to run the New Jersey Marathon because I’m from Jersey and it’s so fast and flat, but they canceled it this year, that’s why I chose to do this one. But I guess that the next one would be [the Boston marathon] in the spring, ”Caruana said.

Stowe added, “Yeah, why not? I’m not thinking about it right now but I probably will.”


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