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Solo Islander marathoner takes on the 10K; Alex Graham with friend James Marshall meet the challenge

We last left Alex Graham and James Marshall in April as Ms. Graham completed her solo marathon around the Island with Mr. Marshall running part of the way with his friend.

Alex Graham (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Now the duo are together again, having run the virtual Shelter Island 10K Race for charity. Ms. Graham, 27, finished with one of the fastest times for an Island woman, and Mr. Marshall, 40, finished among the fastest times for an Island man.

James Marshall (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Ms. Graham came in with a time of 49:21 for 10 kilometers, and Mr. Marshall clocked in at 47 flat for the race.

Original plans called for the traditional Island race to be run as usual. But considerations of caution for the safety of athletes and the public prevailed and it went virtual.

Money came from sponsorships, registration fees and contributions, with funds going to the North Fork Breast Health Coalition, The Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and Lucia’s Angels — a nonprofit that helps women and families with late-stage women’s cancers and raises money from sales of raffle tickets.

Ms. Graham ran her first marathon last April, completing a 26.2 mile course that took her from Wades Beach all the way out to Ram Island, to Silver Beach, and back through the Center and finishing at her starting point. A few friends and family ran with her for shorter distances throughout the day, including Mr. Marshall.

“But I was never really alone,” she said at the finish line, noting that people along the way were on the sides of the roads to cheer her on. “Some people had signs and cars would honk and people would yell out their windows.”

The marketing professional was supposed to run the prestigious Big Sur Marathon in California in April, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the marathon and her California trip were canceled. She had trained for over a year for her first-ever marathon.

Her marathon last spring was to test herself — finishing in the very respectable time of 4 hours and 37 minutes — but also for her community, she said, promoting the Shelter Island Alliance.

She and Brett Surerus created the nonprofit Alliance to help Island restaurants weather the economic storm brought on by the pandemic, as well as helping feed healthcare employees working long hours without breaks. The idea is to keep the restaurants functioning and also pay them to help feed the staffs at Eastern Long Island and Stony Brook Southampton hospitals through donations.

The Alliance has also expanded its scope to help people in need on the Island.

One marathon, one 5K, and we expect to see Ms. Graham and Mr. Marshall in June 2021 in an in-person Island 10K.

For more information on the Shelter Island Alliance, email [email protected] or phone 631-806-5458 (Brett Surerus) or 646-415-2792 (Alex Graham).