Manhasset native Kelly Gillen finished first among women Sunday at the Long Island Marathon.
The 30-year-old New York City resident clocked in at 3:03.05, telling Newsday she was competing in the Long Island Marathon for the first time and that she reached her personal best marathon time.
“Physically, I feel fine right now,” she told Newsday. “But I’ll probably be feeling it in a few hours.”
“This is a great accomplishment for me, especially running it for the first time and not being too familiar with the course,” she added.
According to Newsday, Gillen was born in Manhasset and moved to Westchester when she was 11 years old.
Gillen told Newsday she played basketball at North Salem High School and took up running nine years ago, after her younger brother Ian was diagnosed with bone cancer.
Ian, now 25, survived, Gillen told Newsday, “but his situation inspired me to be more active. We’re from an athletic family, we all play basketball, and I wanted to be fit and do more.”
Gillen, a Cornell graduate, is currently still a student there at work on her doctorate, according to Newsday.
Gillen told Newsday she runs 70 miles a week.
Approximately 8,000 men and women participated in this year’s marathon and an estimated 25,000 spectators lined the race’s route and filled Eisenhower Park’s finish line.
Prior to the race, county Executive Ed Mangano and Scott Rechler, chairman and CEO of the Marathon’s title sponsor, RXR Realty, led runners in observance of 26 seconds of silence during the Marathon’s opening ceremony, which paid tribute to victims and survivors of last month’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon, in which Gillen also competed.
Mangano, Rechler and Long Island Marathon Runners who were in Boston for the tragedy signed messages of hope and support on a 70-foot banner which will be shipped to the Boston Athletic Association, the group that organizes the Boston Marathon, according to a release from Mangano’s office.
Nassau County officials said security efforts for the race were heightened in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Mangano told News 12 the county spent an additional $250,000 in security measures and Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered extra state police to work the event.
“The Long Island Marathon was a success and I thank the men and women of the Nassau County Police Department, the Office of Emergency Management, Volunteer Fire Service and EMS, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Public Works, Department of Health and the countless volunteers for their efforts keeping our runners and spectators safe,” Mangano said in a statement. “I am also very thankful to Governor Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for providing additional law enforcement personnel and resources. An event of this magnitude is a large undertaking but it is important that we continue to enjoy the freedoms so many have fought so hard to protect.”