More than 350 people made history in Prospect Park Sunday by taking part in the first-ever marathon to be run solely in Brooklyn.
Runners in the 26.2-mile Brooklyn Marathon made their way through six full laps and three smaller loops in the park, including a daunting hill, before crossing the finish line.
The marathon was the brainchild of NYCRuns founder Steve Lastoe.
"There are a lot more runners that want to run it, and there's national and international interest, in addition to people who live in the New York metropolitan area, so when you add it up, there's room for a lot of marathons," said Lastoe.
John Paul Montes, left, was the marathon’s male winner. Kelly Gillen, right, was the marathon’s female winner.
John Paul Montes, 24, of Carroll Gardens won the marathon, finishing with a time of 2 hours, 43 minutes.
Kelly Gillen, 29, of Manhattan was the female winner of the marathon, finishing in 3 hours, 14 minutes. It was her first time running in Prospect Park.
Both winners ran through all five boroughs as part of the ING New York City Marathon just two weeks ago.
"I did New York [Marathon], I wasn't expecting to do well. The gentleman that was in first for most of the race... I don't know, somehow I was able to gut it out," Montes said. "This is where I train, so this is my backyard.""It's tough. There's a hill up there that gets you every time and you pass it six times, but it was a lot of fun," said Gillen.
Many runners told NY1 they were proud to be part of the first all-Brooklyn marathon.
"I was born and raised in Brooklyn so I felt like it was an honor to be a part of it," said one runner.
The race is a qualifier for the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Organizers said in the next few years they expect to outgrow Prospect Park and take their challenge to the streets."We want to show the world we can do this right, and in two or three years have a real road race in Brooklyn," said Brooklyn Marathon Course Director Michael Ring.
"You never know if this is going to be 30,000 people 20 years down the road, and I can say that I was one of the winners," Montes said. "You never know, 25 years from now someone from Kenya or Ethiopia does like a 2 hour, 10 minute [run] and I can say that I won."
For more information, visit thebrooklynmarathon.com or nycruns.com.