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Pocantico Hills Marathon to Make its Debut Saturday

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November 11, 2021

By Rick Pezzullo—

More than 140 runners are expected to take part in the inaugural Pocantico Hills Marathon this Saturday, Nov. 13.

The challenging 26-mile race will kick off in the Rockwood Hall section of Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Sleepy Hollow at 8 a.m., a year after it was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Trail Conference A.C. running club is hosting the marathon. Race Director Charlie Gadol said organizers were looking for a unique venue for the fundraising event, and Rockefeller State Park fit the bill in many ways.

“This seemed like an ideal place,” Gadol said. “It’s very scenic, there’s views of the Hudson, and runners will run by fields, stone fences and animals. It’s tough up and down. I think it was a great place for a race.”

Participants ranging in age from 17 to 73 will be competing for top honors. It’s a single loop course on wide, groomed carriage roads with a lot of hills.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm for holding a longer event there,” Gadol said. “We have to make sure it goes well and everybody likes it.”

Phelps Hospital Northwell Health is the major sponsor of the race and will be providing a lot of medical support. There will be eight aid stations along the route providing runners with water, electrolyte drinks, chips, candy, boiled potatoes, salt, pickles, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and vegetable broth, plus first aid.

There will be approximately 70 volunteers lending a hand.

“This just doesn’t happen without the volunteers,” Gadol said. “It’s really an amazing effort.”

Besides Phelps, other sponsors include the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, Tailwind Nutrition, The North Face, Westchester Road Runner, Croton Running Company, The Wired Runner and Sassquad Trail Runner.

Proceeds from the race will go directly to the Friends of Rockefeller State Park Preserve and the New York New Jersey Trail Conference, which maintains and develops trails in New York and New Jersey.

 

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