‘Hills were sneaky’

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, November 10, 2011

Suffolk marathoners say inclines killed their times

Two Suffolk men who ran the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday finished more than two hours apart, but had much the same experience on the 26.2-mile course.

“The hills were sneaky,” said Billy Chorey Jr., who finished in 396th place out of about 47,000 runners.

“I wasn’t prepared for the terrain,” said Barry George, who completed the race in 38,760th place.

Email newsletter signup

The two men, who don’t know each other, traveled from Suffolk to the Big Apple to compete in the race. It was the first time in the prestigious marathon for both men.

They reported that the incline on the five bridges they ran across slowed them down.

Chorey, who has been running as a hobby for about five years, said he had fun despite finishing about 10 minutes after he hoped. He completed the race in 2 hours, 49 minutes and 14 seconds.

“It’s the biggest race I’ve ever done,” he said. “There’s 47,000 runners, so it’s just a mass of humanity. It’s out of control, but that made it fun.”

Chorey called the hills “sneaky” because there were several times when he suddenly realized he had been running at a slight incline for several miles.

“It’s just enough so that when you level out, you’re like, ‘Wait a second, I’ve been running uphill for five miles,’” he said.

Chorey suffers from psoriatic arthritis, which sometimes makes running difficult if it’s been a while since his last treatment.

“You kind of get into a rhythm,” he said. “A lot of it’s mental — one foot in front of the other.”

As for George, this is his first marathon after he began training about a year ago.

“It just beat me up,” George said of the hills. “I have never anticipated the hills being in New York City like that.”

George was hoping to run a 10-minute mile, but wound up about two minutes per mile off that pace. He finished in 5 hours, 14 minutes and 1 second.

George said running with so many other people slowed him down, as did injuring his foot on a pothole on mile 7 and feeling ill around mile 20.

However, he said, he was encouraged by being able to see every borough of the city and by so many people lining the streets to cheer on the runners.

“It’s just so cool and they’re all out there and banging stuff,” he said. “It’s wild.”

So will they run the marathon again next year?

George already has applied. For his part, Chorey isn’t so sure.