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Mini-marathoners to lace up sneakers - Neighborhood children gear up for second annual race down 12th Avenue

Brooklyn kids, get your running shoes on!

The second annual children’s runners’ marathon, a two mile race conducted by the Dyker Heights Athletic Association/St. Bernadette, is set for Saturday, May 17, and starts on 12th Avenue near 82nd Street when the gun for the first of five races goes off at 9 a.m. Some of the runners may go out and get pledges to be in the race.

The course takes the competitors down 12th Avenue, a straight run, to 66th Street, where they make a U-turn and come back to the finish line on the opposite side of the Avenue until 82nd Street and 13th Avenue. The course takes in a quarter of a mile with hills.

In 2007, the race worked out just great and was a complete success. Policemen gave a helping hand in various capacities, especially with the traffic, and prohibited cars from going on the course.

The upcoming race is once again exclusively for children, and they will go off in age groups: kindergarten through first graders; second and third graders; fourth and fifth; sixth and seventh; and eighth through tenth..

Last year the race attracted 225 children. Race director and Dyker Heights Athletic Association President Peter McCarthy’s goal is reach out for more high school athletes. He wants to reach 250.

Julian Morelli, now 15 years of age and on the track team at Xaverian High School, won the event for eighth, ninth -and tenth graders last spring. He will try again and his goal is to repeat his performance.

Other winners last year included Bianca Cannata, Tyler Hunter, Jonathan Rando and Steve Lowe.

Trophies will go to the first three place finishers in each age group. Boys and girls will be mixed.

McCarthy’s three boys-Patrick, 15, Michael, 11, and Matthew, 7

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