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Prospect Park hosts 5K workouts

Runners training for a long distance race or just looking for some running motivation are encouraged to come out for a 5K workout every other Wednesday night in Prospect Park.

They don’t have to be the cream of the crop. The runs are for anybody of any age or sex capable of going the 3.1 mile distance within the park when the gun goes off at 7:00 p.m.

These races, called the Al Goldstein 5K Summer Speed Series, are conducted by the Prospect Park Track Club, and over the years have attracted not only recreation runners but some of the elite crop from this borough. High school students are urged to train the same distance that they compete for their school’s cross country teams come September.

Two of the top runners from this borough – 27-year-old Richard Brown and 31-year-old Johavan Hornsby – dueled with each other at the most recent race on July 2 before the former emerged victorious. They came out to compete for their first time in this race this summer.

Brown ran the hilly course in 16:29 while Hornsby ran it in 17:04.

These two runners can be found at numerous races at different distances in this borough and elsewhere. In fact, both of them will be competing in the New York City Marathon in the fall.

Hornsby also won the Cosme 5K held on the Coney Island boardwalk only three days prior to the summer series.

Brown came off running a shorter race on the previous night in Fort Hamilton.

At Prospect Park 5K run, Hornsby had been leading but fell behind due to some health issues that allowed Brown to take over the lead.

“After he stopped I took the lead,” Brown said.

Brown, who has been running very seriously for the past few years, has one goal in mind – to compete in his first New York City Marathon. The former runner at Carbondale High School in Illinois and at Division III DePaw University in Indiana just wants to finish his first marathon.

“I have a lot of training to do,” Brown said. “And maybe I’ll qualify for the Boston Marathon. I’m running for the Teachers’ Union Club.”

Brown and Hornsby have been working out in Prospect Park every other day.

“We’re trying to gear up for our first marathon,” said Hornsby, who ran for Georgetown University. “These races are great for they bring the community together. We’ll try to participate in as many of these races as we can and have a good time.”

Some runners are new to this 5K course in Prospect Park while others are veterans at it. Some use these races to get back into running condition, the same that they were in a number of years ago.

Richard Lowe felt that the recent Wednesday race was just a perfect day weather-wise for a good workout.

Lowe, who was clocked in 23:04 for 22nd place, came out for the exercise and the camaraderie from the other entrants.

“This is my first race in this series,” the 52-year-old said.

Then there are those who come out to the series to get back into shape after suffering some kind of injury.

Take, for example, Kofi Sanscullote. He just wanted to see where he was in this sport.

After suffering a knee injury, the 26-year-old former runner during his schoolboy days in Brooklyn ran a 24:36 for 28th place. He didn’t run for about five years after running at Brooklyn Tech High School and Cortlandt State University. Now he’s trying to get back again into running.

Sanscullotte’s goal is to keep improving and lowering his time.

The next runs in the Al Goldstein 5K Summer Speed Series are July 30, August 13 and August 27. Registration is the day of the race at the Oriental Pavilion next to the Kate Wollman Rink (East Drive near Parkside and Ocean avenues) from 6 to 6:40 p.m., with the races starting at 7 p.m. The cost is $5. For more information, call 718-595-2049 or go to /www.pptc.org.

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