If you were on the Brooklyn Bridge last Thursday night around 10pm, you knew something special was going on. Tourists stopped, policemen stood with amused expressions, and several dozen members of the city’s run crews and clubs lined the bridge, cheering loudly with cowbells. And so the Take The Bridge three-race summer 2016 series ended with a bang, as two sold-out fields chased prizes and street cred at Take The Bridge Brooklyn.
Unlike the grueling Take The Bridge Queensboro route, this moderately inclined 1.2 mile course begged to be raced like a mile. Victoria Kornieva of Long Island’s Bellmore Striders ran on the lead from the gun, taking the prime narrowly over Elizabeth Laseter of Dashing Whippets en route to a six second win. Victoria’s teammate Sean Mahon ran down prime winner Jason Lakritz of Finish Line PT on the final ramp to take the men’s race by two seconds.
When Sean and Victoria made their impressive Take The Bridge debuts at Queensboro last month (each in top 3), they joined the top pre-race favorites for the next race. And man did they live up to the hype. Sean ran 5:35 to average 4:39 per mile, and Victoria ran 6:27, a 5:22 mile pace.
The energy stayed high until the final men’s finisher crossed, on a clear, warm October night. Ray Marquette — recovering from an injury and a recent marathon — sprinted down the pedestrian ramp through the tunnel of cheering fans. He threw his hands up as he crossed the Welcome to Brooklyn message, appropriately etched in the bridge surface. Another TTB in the books.
photos by janelle hartman (@janhart25)
"My intentions were not to start out too fast and maintain control throughout. That went out the window when the women took off."
- Katie Portelli. A past TTB race crew volunteer, she made her TTB racing debut at Brooklyn
Behind Victoria, Elizabeth was a strong runner-up for the second consecutive race, clocking 6:33. TTB veteran Leigh Anne Sharek followed in third, five seconds back of Elizabeth. A study in consistency, Leigh Anne has now placed fourth or higher in six consecutive TTB races (including two wins). Her third place at Brooklyn also clinched the $150 individual series title, sponsored by Strava.
Two new faces followed. In fourth, Emmi Aguillard of Dashing Whippets, running 6:40 (5:41 per mile) to stay close on Leigh Anne’s heels. In fifth, Kate Reese of Brooklyn Running Company, a former college runner making a return to racing from an injury layoff.
Sean’s win, in a cloud of confetti, capped a sweet night for Bellmore Striders (Victoria’s brother Anton Korniev, wearing our white race singlet; took fifth in his TTB debut). Jason followed two seconds back in 5:37 (4:41 mile pace), a TTB rookie who is one of NYC’s top road milers. We hope this rivalry keeps going. Third was Zach Rivers in 5:51, a Lostboy who equaled his debut place from TTB Queensboro. And Tim Rossi grabbed fourth in 5:56, two seconds in front of Anton.
Like Leigh Anne, Tim is a TTB fixture who has placed at least fourth in five consecutive races, even as the race field only grows deeper and faster. And Tim also clinched the $150 individual Strava series title, while leading his Lostboys to the team title.
photos by Tahiti Abdul: @tahitidiy
"All crews / squads come through to watch and cheer, it's way better than the larger races bc this is just "us."
- Mit Patel, who switched from race crew to runner for TTB Brooklyn
An amazing turnout from clubs and crews drove the Take The Bridge series to new heights this year. Lostboys, Brooklyn Navy Track Crew (BNTC), November Project, Dashing Whippets, Bellmore Striders, New York Harriers, South Brooklyn, LSTC, Iron Runners... These teams (and more) embraced our race with runners, race crew, photographers, fans and just good will on social media. So we loved the idea of offering a $250 team prize sponsored by Strava.
photos by Tahiti Abdul: @tahitidiy
Leigh Anne led Brooklyn Navy to the women’s team title, capping a series in which three of her teammates also scored — Carly Gill, Erin Higgins and Lena Placzek. But Dashing Whippets has made things interesting of late, with Elizabeth and Emmi scoring big points at Queensboro and Brooklyn. Five women scored across the series for third-place November Project, led by Jessica Snider-Rodriguez, Macon Lowman and Whitney McFadden.
Lostboys claimed the men’s title by a dominant margin, behind their own fab four of Tim, Zach, Jeremy Mulvey and TTB Queensboro winner Jerry Faulkner. Bellmore put together a potent one-two in Sean and Anton, as did LSTC behind Daniel Marin and Phillip Heer. We have already heard talk of new teams wanting to challenge next year, drawing from the potent NYC talent pool.
"I am so lucky to live in this city and to have found these amazing people who've reignited my passion for running"
- Gretchen Connellie, November Project. winner of the "Leave It On The Bridge" Prize for making our race community awesome.
Look around #takethebridge Instagram. If there is one topic that comes as often as tight primes or lung-searing bridge ramps, it’s the post-race beer. We can all agree on that.
This time, nearly 100 people packed 68 Jay Street Bar in Dumbo. In an extra-long awards ceremony, we presented all the usual prizes plus a bunch of special additions for the series finale — Strava series cash prizes, the Brooklyn Running Company sponsored Leave It On The Bridge Prize, to the two runners who best captured our race spirit, and a recovery package from Finish Line Physical Therapy.
In short, the Take The Bridge community celebrated another awesome night the only way we know how — with killer races, and a few beers. Thanks for supporting our series, as a runner, sponsor, race crew volunteer, photographer or fan. And see you next time.
Darcy + Adam