Reynolds said that a more local race might provide motivation for Long Islanders to take part in a similar event, and his hope is that the Eisenhower Park race can become as popular in Long Island as the Central Park race is in New York City. The 246 participants, he said, “for a first time run, I think it’s a solid base for us to build on.”
The Times Square Ball drop was simulcast just before the race started. Jeanette Hall, from West Babylon, was the overall winner of the 5k dash, finishing fractions of a second ahead of Marcos Durante, of Astoria. Both were officially recorded as finishing at 21:16.
Ben Turner, who finished third in the race at 21:24, was the lone participant from outside of New York, hailing from Williamsburg, Massachusetts.
An after-party followed the race, where runners were able to interact with each other and enjoy food and drinks to kick off the new year.
The event, Reynolds said, was not only a festive occasion, but helped spread the word of LICADD’s mission. “[Drug and alcohol dependency] is a huge issue facing Long Island,” he said. “The demand for services is through the roof, and events like this help us meet the demand.”