Blue Point Brewery to Host Freedom Fest
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today joined with Catholic Health Services, the Greater Long Island Running Club, a number of World War II Veterans and local veterans groups to kick off the 5th Annual Suffolk County Marathon, which will be held on Sunday, October 27, 2019 in Patchogue. In commemoration of the 75thanniversary of the Invasion of Normandy, this year’s marathon will be dedicated to World War II Veterans, paying tribute to the sacrifices and legacy of the greatest generation.
“The Suffolk County Marathon has become an annual rite of passage for runners and families all across Long Island,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “Not only does this year’s race add new features for our runners, such as a 10K race, the event will be dedication to the veterans of the greatest generation as we mark an important milestone, the 75th anniversary of D-Day, one of the most significant military operations in history.”
“The Suffolk County Marathon has become a fixture in our community,” said Legislator Susan A. Berland, Chairwoman of the Legislature’s Veterans Committee. “The passion exhibited by those who run and those who sponsor runners is emblematic of the wide spread support for our County’s most brave and selfless, our veterans. The benefits our Suffolk County veterans will receive from the proceeds will go a long way to serve their needs. As we kick off this year’s Marathon, I encourage everyone to run or sponsor a runner to continue to raise these needed funds.”
“Each year, I, along with a number of my colleagues, am proud to sponsor the Road to Remembrance. This portion of the route gives runners the opportunity to pay tribute to Suffolk County veterans who have paid the supreme sacrifice since 9-11 and often gives them the inspiration they need to complete the race,” stated Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer.
In addition to the Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K Race, this year’s event will feature a 10K for the first time since the inception of the event.
All four races begin and end in vibrant downtown Patchogue. The marathon course travels through numerous other scenic downtowns on the south shore, which include Blue Point, Bayport, Sayville, Oakdale, and Great River. The full marathon course will turn around in Heckscher State Park before entering the scenic Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River. The half marathon turns around on the former St. John’s University campus (now Amity Education Group campus). After turning around in their respective locations, both the full and half marathons travel back down Montauk Highway to their starting point in Patchogue. The 5K will travel on Montauk Highway to Blue Point before turning around.
In addition to the races being held, the FreedomFest will begin at 9:00 a.m., shortly after the first 5k runners finish and just before the first Half Marathoners will finish. Blue Point Brewery has been a proud sponsor of the Marathon every year, and this year they will join on as the official host of FreedomFest.
FreedomFest will feature live musical entertainment and include vendors that will highlight local craft breweries, award winning wines, and local food and produce. The street festival will include many family-friendly events, including pumpkin painting, lawn games and other fun activities.
Additionally, this year’s race will once again feature the County Executive’s Cup, a trophy that active duty military personnel who participate in the Full Marathon are eligible for. The trophy will be awarded to whichever Military Branch finishes with the top score overall and will have their division name engraved into it. The winners will then be able to take the trophy back to their base until next year’s race. In order to participate, there must be a minimum of five people per branch, and they must be registered for the full marathon. The U.S. Army was crowned the winner of the 2018 County Executive’s Cup.
Tom Ronayne, Director, Suffolk County Veteran Services, said:“Suffolk County is extremely proud of our veteran population and so grateful for the service they have provided us. What better way to celebrate and thank these selfless men and women than by bringing together the community in a supportive and positive way. The Marathon not only recognizes the spirit of who our veterans are but also provides very real, very significant benefits to the veterans’ community in the form of Grants to benefit veterans across Suffolk County. One half million dollars and counting after 4 years of Marathoning together.”
Col. John McMurray COO, Good Samaritan Hospital, said:“Catholic Health Services is honored to serve as the Medal of Honor Title Sponsor and Race Medicine Provider of Suffolk County Marathon. We are committed to the health and safety of the thousands of runners who compete in the event and are proud to join the County Executive in his support of the veterans groups and organizations who directly benefit from this race.”
Mike Polansky, President, Greater Long Island Running Club, said: “The Greater Long Island Running Club is as thrilled to be a part of the Catholic Health Services Suffolk County Marathon weekend as we were when the event first got off the ground four years ago. As fellow runners, we are proud of our continuing partnership with County Executive Steve Bellone and our joint efforts to make this a world class event.”
The Suffolk County Marathon was first launched in 2015, with the main objective of providing additional support to the more than 90,000 veterans who reside in Suffolk County. Each year, the Marathon raises money to benefit veterans and to date, the Suffolk County Marathon has raised nearly $500,000 for local veterans’ services with more than 10,000 runners participating.
The recipients of 2018 Marathon Grant Funding included: Americas VetDogs, Disabled American Veterans Department of NY Services (DAVNY), Paws of War, Make It Count Foundation, United Veterans Beacon House, Project9Line, Association of Mental Health and Wellness, Touro College Jacob Fuchsberg Law Center, Kiwanis Club of the Islips and Bay Shore and RSVP/CCCP.
For more information on the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K, or to register please visit www.suffolkmarathon.com.