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Marathon Sunday attracts local resident

Marathon Sunday is fast approaching and that’s when a crowdedfield travels from all over the world to participate in the NewYork Marathon on November 6.

One runner in the crowd happens to have a short ride to thestarting point on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge.He is Peter O’Rourke, a local favorite wherever or whenever heruns, and a member of the Shore Road Striders Running Club since2005.

During the race, he will be running up 92nd Street, not far fromhis residence on 94th Street. He’ll even be running past hisgrammar school, P.S. 104.

Last year, O’Rourke ran with some problems in his right knee,dealt with them, wanted to finish, and was clocked at 3:05 over the26.2 mile grind. This year he has been working out, practicing herein the area, and entering into races at various distances,conducted by the New York Road Runners Club, the same organizationthat stages the New York City Marathon..

Coming off a 1:32 performance in the recent Staten Island HalfMarathon, O’Rourke doesn’t really have a set time goal for hisupcoming race. His fastest marathon time is 2:55.42 in Corning, NewYork

I want to have fun and just finish, the 23-year-old said. InJuly, I was diagnosed with a side of the knee injury-aninflammation. I was in physical therapy in July and August and inSeptember it was a ‘wash,’ he explained. Basically what I’m doingin preparation for the race is surviving. Even with the injuries Iran about 50 miles a week.

I run a lot along Shore Road, including the hills, here, hesaid. I also love running on flat ground. And I like running inCentral Park (where we finish) because it’s (the course) is hilly.You can run fast down hill. You have to survive the up hills.What’s tough about New York is that there are many hills.

In the New York City Marathon, Bay Ridge has a strong cheeringsection, especially coming off the bridge.

The sport of running started for him back on December 21, 2003.He was a junior at Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Islandat the time. His first organized road race was the Chris HobanMemorial Race hosted by Xaverian High School in 2004. He ran 37minutes.

After completing high school and while in college, he ran hisfirst marathon in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 2005 and he was timedat 3:27. He did not run with the team at St. Francis College indowntown Brooklyn, because he didn’t like being told when and howto run, especially in practice.

I like running and practicing, alone, said O’Rourke.

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