A little rain (okay, a lot of rain) can't stop this community from making one hell of a race happen. Last Friday night, we kicked off our three-part 2017 Take The Bridge Summer Series; the season opener was hosted by South Brooklyn Running Club. 65 runners raced an out and back over our trusty Manhattan Bridge, spanning approximately 2.5 miles.
With a prize for top cheer squad, we saw fans come out in droves. Most with a personal touch to signify their place. Can you say Christmas lights, bacon and pizza costumes, and confetti cannons galore ?!? This was our third time racing the course, and it brought our first massive rain storm to date, just to keep us on our toes.
The ladies were lucky to have the clear night sky for their race. TTB vet Emmi Aguillard took the early lead and grabbed the prime. But Dashing Whippets teammate Bianca Jackson made a strong move on the second uphill coming back, holding on to win her first TTB by three seconds, in 14:41.9. Another Take The Bridge rookie followed in third, Nicole Freeman of Queens Distance Runners.
As the men toed the line, the sky opened, and TTB had our first torrential downpour in 11 events! George Grullon captured the moment perfectly, as we quickly started the race. The rain never let up, adding an element of “urban cross-country” for the racers. Don't forget to hug a few TTB volunteers at your next race; this squad worked with a smile to ensure a smooth race in tough conditions.
TTB vet Sean Mahon of Bellmore Striders and newcomer Greg Laraia of Custom Performance created a gap early on. Sean led the entire race, with sprint intervals to keep things interesting. He took the prime, en route to a commanding win in 12:31.3! Greg followed 5 seconds back, ahead of teammate Adam Saloom.
After the race, we headed back to race headquarters, under the Manhattan Archway, to celebrate and dry off. As Front Runners' Steve Waldon reminded us, “TTB is more than just a race. It’s a great celebration!”
Results are now final, and team standings are already getting interesting. If you want to join Adam (TTB Adam) in geeking out, check out the new rules for how teams score this year. In short, the top 3 runners of each team score!
Next bridge and host announced tomorrow . . . See you on the bridge!