Saturday Spotlight- Brian Manghan

Saturday Spotlight

Brian Manghan

Age: 61

Family, wife: Diane,

daughters: Jessica and Krissy

Grandchildren: Jack 9,
Finn, 7
Anna and Michael, 6
Kieran 5

Occupation: retired, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

Residence: Wading River

People sometimes ask me where I grew up. I can tell you where I lived as a child, but I am still working on the growing up part. In 1957, when I was four years old, my parents bought a modest home in Lake Panamoka, the eastern part of Ridge. This was not the suburbs back then, it was out in the country. More than half of the houses were summer residences and some of the roads were not paved yet. The LIE ended at exit 56. I was a fairly active kid, riding my bike 3/4 mile to the lake, swimming, and playing sandlot baseball. I wanted to be a good baseball player, but I was afraid of fast pitching, so I either struck out or walked. Parents didn’t drive us to soccer practice and games. We played kickball in the street. I was not a fast runner, but I didn’t tire as quickly as most of the other kids.
In 7th grade I went to Longwood Junior/Senior High, one building for 7-12 grades. That October I performed well in some endurance test in gym class and the high school coach asked me if I wanted to run a mile cross county race at Sunken Meadow. There was no junior high team and I didn’t know what cross country was, but I said yes. It was a huge meet, kids from all over Suffolk County. They had full teams and uniforms too. I got my butt kicked. The next year I trained and did much better. I was hooked. I found my sport. I ran track and cross country throughout high school with some success at the local level.

Fast forward six years to September, 1971. There were no local road races back then. We would read about the Boston Marathon and watch the Olympics every our years. The start of the running boom was a year away ( Frank Shorter’s 1972 Olympic Marathon victory). I was an 18 year old freshman at C.W. Post and the coach asked me if I wanted to run a marathon. I always considered myself too slow for the mile or two mile, the longest races in high school track (xc was 2 1/2 miles then) so I said yes. Three days later, September 19, 1971, I am running in the second annual NYC Marathon in Central Park. We started by Tavern on the Green, ran out one mile and back, then four six mile loops of the park. It was mostly rolling hills with one fairly steep hill uptown. I finished 26th out of a grand total of 167 runners. It was to until the bicentennial year, 1976, that the race moved out into the five boroughs. I ran it 5 more times between 1978 and 1985. I have also run a few Bostons, Long Island, Bermuda, and Jersey Shore fr a total of 13 marathons.

I signed up for NY last year, but decided not to do it after I struggled in the Staten Island Half Marathon in October. My lat marathon was in 1985, and right now I have no desire to run another one. I love to run, but 13.1 miles is long enough for me to race. In my opinion, the marathon is overrated, too much pressure for one day and it beats you up for weeks afterward.

Well, I dropped out of CW Post, became a carpenter, got married, bought a piece of property and built a house in Wading River, raised a family, and continued to run road races. When I was running well, I would run 70-80 miles a week after doing physical work for 40 + hours a week. I ran some decent times over the years and it is a bit frustrating now that I am only getting slower as I age. My half marathon pace at 50 became my 10k pace at 55 and I would be happy to run a 5k at that pace now. I have dealt with many injuries over the years and I should be glad I can run at all now.

I am slightly bowl legged and have had several knee surgeries over the last 20 years. When I was 40, I was hospitalized for a week ( 3 days in cardiac care) with Lyme carditis. The local walk in medical care missed the Lyme diagnosis. A nurse told me I would need a pacemaker and a priest gave me last rites.

My most recent serious injury was also to running related, but it definitely screwed up my running. On October 9, 2011 I got hit by a car while walking out of Sears in Ronkonoma. I only broke my ankle and bruised my ribs. It could have been a lot worse. They say the bone healed, but I still have tendon and ligament damage. Six months later I went back to work, but ater two months I decided to retire.
I love to run, but I am not content to just jog. I like to push, to be on the edge. I do most of my running on the trails of Brookhaven State park. I have been running there since 1966, the summer before 8th grade. My knees can not take the pounding or the crown of the roads. I have done the Selden Hills 10k, 22 times, 13 this year. I still haven’t done the 15k. There are plenty of rolling hills on my trails and when snow forces me onto the roads, there are hills in Wading River that are almost as challenging as Selden.

I have been injury free for 4 months now and hope to run well in the upcoming months.

If anyone wants to try running on my trails let me know.@I am retired and have a very flexible schedule.

I hope I didn’t bore everyone too much. I’ll be back with some information that I hope will be useful to your own running.

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