At least 1,000 participants from around the U.S. and Canada are expected to participate in the fourth-annual Queens Marathon set to take place in April at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, according to Queens Distance Runners, a nonprofit athletic club.
So far, close to 200 participants have registered for the 26.2 mile race, which will follow a six-loop course through the borough’s biggest park on Saturday, April 21 at 8:00 a.m., according to Kevin Montalvo, director of the Queens Marathon and Queens Distance Runners.
“Our catchphrase is ‘The World is Waiting’ and it touches on the Queens Unisphere, and it’s a symbol of welcoming the world, but at the same time it’s going to showcase the best of what Queens offers and what the New York City running community is going to offer,” said Montalvo.
The race is an official qualifier for the 2020 Boston Marathon, as per a designation by USA Track and Field, the national governing body for cross-country running. Additionally, the New York Road Runners Club of America, the oldest and largest national association of running organizations, has selected the Queens Marathon as the host of the New York State Marathon Championships this year.
“People from all across the state are going to be excited to race this one,” said Montalvo.
The Queens Marathon was developed in 2016 by the Queens Distance Runners Club, which has invited all running clubs, Friends of Queens Distance, and the general public to take a patch of the course and support participants of the race.
The course is mostly flat and fast with a few small hills. It winds through soccer fields, playgrounds, and New York City’s largest lake with the Unisphere, Citi Field, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and Queens Museum almost always in sight.
This will be the first year the Queens Marathon will provide a spotlight on several official charities.
Participants will have the opportunity to fundraise for a local organization on their behalf, said Montalvo.
Local charities supported by the Queens Marathon include: The Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park; Achilles International Queens; Queens Centers for Progress; and Queens Community House.
Montalvo said they will need about 200 volunteers to help provide food, water, and encouragement.
“A lot of people assume that to be involved you have to run. But the volunteers are much a part of the race as the runners are because they’re standing out in the course for hours upon end and that’s a good way to get started in running,” said Montalvo. “When you volunteer you feel a connection and realize that you can do it too.”
Training for the Queens Marathon is being offered from elite coach, Luciana Medina, of Coach Medina NYC, who has helped runners achieve their goals since 2014.
“Anyone that has a goal in mind we facilitate the communication and they train them towards it,” said Montalvo.
Montalvo said their goal is to one day bring a full Queens Marathon to the streets in the borough, from Long Island City to Far Rockaway.
The 2019 Queens Marathon is supported by the Queens Tourism Council and the entities within Flushing Meadows Park.
Registration is now open and is $120. Awards will be given to the top three male and female runners overall. There will also be a free, one-mile race for children at 9:30 a.m.
For more information and to register visit: queensmarathon.org
Sponsorship opportunities are available through [email protected]