WASHINGTON — Among the 50,000 runners who covered 26.2 miles across the five boroughs of New York City during Sunday’s marathon were two United States Secret Service agents.
They weren’t just running the marathon for fun. They were on duty, protecting Kersti Kaljulaid, the president of Estonia, who was running her first New York City Marathon. Secret Service agents are assigned to protect visiting dignitaries and heads of states wherever they go while in the United States, and that includes over the roads and bridges and hills of New York City.
The U.S. agents were Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mason Brayman and Lieutenant Bill Uher. Both agents have run dozens of marathons on their own, but this time, they were running while armed and while carrying some special equipment.
Brayman is with the Office of Communication and Media Relations and Uher is with the Uniformed Division’s Special Response team.
It was the 56th marathon for Brayman and 28th for Uher. Kaljulaid finished the race with an unofficial time of four hours, two minutes and 40 seconds, for an average pace of nine minutes, 16 seconds per mile.
The U.S. agents were not even sure they would be running the race this weekend until four days ahead of time, but they were made aware in July that might be their assignment in early November.
“I said I’d be ready,” Uher said in a news release. “That gave me a good excuse to get out their and train.”
The agents said they had to be ready not just to run for four hours, but in case there was a physical or medical emergency.
“A lot can go wrong in 26 miles,” Brayman said.
Brayman was already preparing to run the Philadelphia Marathon two weeks from now, on Nov. 18.
“I just added 10 miles to my training day,” said Brayman, who would have run 16 miles without the special assignment on Sunday.
Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia won the men’s race in 2:05:59, while Mary Keitany won her fourth-career New York City Marathon in a time of 2:22:48, both near record times.
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