YONKERS, N.Y. -- Considered by many runners as one of the most difficult of long distance tests, the Yonkers Marathon-Half Marathon holds its 87th running Sunday on a two-loop course that begins and ends on the Yonkers waterfront and rolls through Hastings-on-Hudson.
Once considered a must-run marathon for the sports’ best, its hilly course and proximity to the New York City Marathon held in November may have depleted the field of runners over time.
Dobbs Ferry's Michael Gibbons, who ran his first Yonkers Marathon last year, used some family inspiration to defeat the hilly course.
“I hit the wall at 18 miles and said, ‘I am done’,” Gibbons said. “I knew my kids were waiting at 18.1 miles, so I pushed until I saw them. It's a tough course especially when it's warm. I was determined to finish. You have to dig deep and keep moving. It was great day and I slept like a baby afterwards.”
The Yonkers Marathon was first held on Thanksgiving Day 1907. It is the second oldest marathon in the United States behind the Boston Marathon, and once hosted the national championships, as well as being a venue for the Olympic Trials in the 1960s.
The full marathon course is a double loop that runs north on Warburton Ave., through Hastings-on-Hudson, east up Main Street, south on North Broadway and then south along Nepperhan Ave. and South Broadway to the Bronx-Yonkers border, then north on Riverdale Ave. to the start/finish line. The half marathon is run in one loop and serves as a good prep for the New York run.
Last year's winner was Michael Guzick of New York City in @:44.44 with Croton's Michael Oliva taking second in 2:46.52. Patrice Kentner of Pelham took first overall in the women's division in a time of 3:26.04.
For more information on the Yonkers Marathon and how to enter, log on at http://theyonkersmarathon.com or go to Facebook and Yonkers Marathon and Half Marathon page.