History of the Long Island Marathon
Like a marathon itself, the history of Long Island Marathon Weekend covers a lot of distance and has many twists and turns. Its origins date back as far as 1958 and as far away as Bronx, NY at the inaugural MaCombs Dam Park Marathon. The race was later renamed the “Cherry Tree Marathon” and continued to run in the Bronx until 1970 when it moved to Central Park in New York City and was renamed the “Earth Day Marathon” for the next few years.
Central Park’s Earth Day Marathon spawned 2 new races… One would become the New York City Marathon and the other, the Long Island Marathon. The Earth Day Marathon was moved to Long Island’s Roosevelt Raceway in 1973 then into Eisenhower Park five years later when it was renamed “The Long Island Marathon.”
In 1984, the Long Island Half Marathon was added and over the next two decades, the Long Island Marathon and Half Marathon race courses would be designed and re-designed over several times. For a while, the Long Island Marathon took participants form Eisenhower Park in East Meadow down to Nassau Beach (now Nickerson Beach). Always the first Sunday in May, the current iteration of the course takes participants from Charles Lindbergh Blvd in Uniondale, NY, through the streets of Westbury, onto the Wantagh Parkway and into Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, NY.
The first decade of the 2000’s saw the addition of a 10K race run along with the Marathon and Half Marathon followed by the addition of a 5K Race and then a 1 Mile Run on the Saturday before the Marathon. Now encompassing a full weekend of events – Sports & Fitness Expo on Friday, the 1 Mile and 5K Races on Saturday and the Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K Race on Sunday, the Long Island Marathon carries a new moniker, “Long Island Marathon Weekend.”
For more than half a century - over 40 years here on Long Island, individuals have been challenging themselves to Long Island’s premiere competitive running event. Each year, the event’s management team works to make Long Island Marathon Weekend better and better and will continue to do so as the race lives on into the future.