Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to announce Realtor® Connie Lyke-Brown is reaching an all-time record competing in the 2021 New York City Marathon. A milestone of a lifetime, as this year marks the 42nd run for Brown and the 50th anniversary of the race on Sunday, November 7. She is the woman with the most consecutive runs in the world's biggest and most popular marathon.
Born in Brooklyn, Brown was a former New York physical education teacher who also coached the cross-country team. She credits the father of one of her students for piquing her interest in competing in the race. The dad was a New York City firefighter and a long distance runner who was training for the marathon. He asked Brown to join his running club, which led to a running streak in the New York City Marathon that started in 1978.
“Running makes me feel good and grateful,” explained Brown. “Although I run slower than I used to, I still put one foot in front of other and get to the finish line, and that makes me happy.”
Brown has run every year with the exception of 2012 when the marathon was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Wanting to be on the Gulf Coast, Brown decided to move to Sarasota in 1981. Distance never stopped her from running the race and neither did COVID. Because of COVID, a virtual alternative to the marathon took its place and drew close to 16,000 finishers from over 100 countries. Brown’s training started each morning at 3:00 am to beat the heat.
In 2020, her virtual marathon included running through her neighborhood, The Meadows, for 10 miles. Her route also included running by Marina Jack, then Lido Key and around St. Armands Circle.
“I recorded my running on the app, where I went and how long it took and then submitted to New York City marathon officials.”
Her husband led the neighborhood support group.
“The entire neighborhood was out. They knew when I was running down the street and made a finish line. It was very memorable.”
The feeling of community is a vital part of Brown’s life as is being active.
“My overwhelming feeling is that I have been given so much in life; I met my husband on the Sarasota High School track. He started running marathons so that we can be together. Staying active is so important and adds so much to your life.”
Her love of the Florida Gulf Coast as well as her passion as a realtor soon spread. The New York City firefighter who helped her coordinate her run in the marathon through the decades is now a resident of Siesta Key.
“I loved Sarasota at first sight. Most of my friends have been my customers, and most of my customers have become my friends.”
When asked why she became a real estate agent, her answer focuses on people and building relationships.
“I have a friend from New York who shared how real estate was a fulfilling job. What I like most are the people I meet along the way, and the relationships built along the years.”
2021 continues to be a milestone for Brown’s record book. Not only is it a banner year for the marathon and her 42nd run but also represents an important mark in her career.
“ I am celebrating 21 years at Michael Saunders & Company. I have appreciated the leadership and integrity from Michael. It’s been a really good experience.”
Brown can be reached at 1605 Main Street in Sarasota and by calling 941-951-6660.