This Friday, around 30 of NYC's fastest women toe our chalk line on the Manhattan Bridge to open the 2017 Take The Bridge Summer Series. We LOVE this bridge, with its wide, spectator-friendly pedestrian plaza, dedicated path and sweet views. But it’s also a beast; our longest course in NYC (to date) at 2.5 miles, with an approach ramp that never seems to end, a tight turnaround and a straightaway that catches finishers by surprise. As your high school coach said, run through that line! On that note, our finish line will look better than ever this year (you’ll just have to see for yourself)!
In the third year of Take The Bridge, our goal is to embrace the local running community like never before. That means amazing cheer squads along the course. A Strava challenge that produced electrifying races before the race. And our Custom Performance team series competition that draws deep from the city’s talented pool of women’s club runners. They were the stars of last year’s series, and we know that new faces will count in this summer’s story.
So let’s get to know some of our top new runners — it’s a TTB tradition. And want to learn a little about our returnees? Check out our past profiles on Emmi Aguillard of Dashing Whippets, a fixture on our podium, or November Project’s duo of Whitney McFadden and Macon Lowman, veterans of our top 10.
CREW/CLUB | Dashing Whippets
WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER | Bianca is in that “runningmoon” phase beloved by newcomers to the sport. In less than two years competing, she’s already notched impressive PR’s on the track and the roads. So why not thrown one down on the bridge?
RUNNING BACKGROUND | Bianca is a lifelong athlete — from figure skater to college coxswain. She raced a marathon as a college senior and got bit by the bug. Two years later, she’s clocked a 1:22 at the NYC half, and is super excited to dip her toes in shorter races this summer. Oh, and she just won “Queen of the Hill” at the Corporate Challenge. You know Bianca, a bridge is a hill.
WHAT DREW HER TO SIGN UP | Heard about TTB from Whippets teammate Emmi. We see a mean one-two punch coming!
MILE PR | sub 5:30 at Strava Mile (first and only one mile race!)
5K PR | Has never run one. Hint, Bianca - run one!
HOMETOWN | Glencoe, Illinois
WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING | Works in private equity. Skis out west. Makes a mean pasta amatriciana.
CREW/CLUB | Central Park Track Club
WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER | Dani is a veteran with chops from the mile to the marathon. A distance runner with 14 marathons under her belt, she’s not afraid to mix it up in shorter stuff. We know she’ll run tough and run smart.
RUNNING BACKGROUND | Dani’s been hooked on running since college, when her mom convinced her to race a 10K together. Not sure she would finish, she ended up second in her age group. Her CPTC teammates now push her too; she loves the club’s “competitive spirit and camaraderie”. After all those 14 marathons, she’s still on top of her game. She near equaled a seven-year old PR at the NYC Half in March, and ripped a minute from her 10-miler PR at Broad Street in May.
WHAT DREW HER TO SIGN UP | Wanted to add some spice to challenge her running in new ways. Says she is feeling both “nervous and excited”. That’s pretty much how we feel before every race!
MILE PR | 5:57
5K PR | 20:50.
WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING | Teaches K-2 teachers. Also teaches Pilates, does yoga, rides at Soulcycle (hint: ask Darcy for a free pass) and spends time with her yorkie.
NICOLETTE ST. LAWRENCE
CREW/CLUB | North Brooklyn Runners
WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER | Nicolette is an exciting last-minute addition to our women’s field. We loved the way she rocked our Strava Claim Your Bridge Manhattan challenge, moving to number two all time on a well-trafficked BK to Manhattan segment.
RUNNING BACKGROUND | Battling injuries lately (but that segment is sure an encouraging sign). Ran a super strong race at the 2016 Bronx 10-Miler. And her blazing 5K PR speaks for itself!
WHAT DREW HER TO SIGN UP | Dope underground racing summer night vibes.
MILE PR | Never run one
5K PR | 18:23
WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING | Works marketing for AmEx, digs podcasts, cooks delicious plant-based food
CREW/CLUB | North Brooklyn Runners
WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER | We think Nicoletta has a ton of potential in her first TTB. She’s a lifelong competitive athlete who knows the unsanctioned running scene; one of her best races was Red Hook Crit 2016. And she’s super excited to start her summer racing season after a winter’s break.
RUNNING BACKGROUND | First a competitive swimmer, Nicoletta has only been running competitively for two years, and is “inspired daily” by the amazing people at her club, NBR.
WHAT DREW HER TO SIGN UP | Race across her favorite bridge in NYC? Nicoletta says best idea ever. We agree.
MILE PR | 5:47
5K PR | 20:46
HOMETOWN | Toronto, Ontario
WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING | Explores the city and spends time with her cat.
CREW/CLUB: Queens Distance Runners + Oiselle Volee
WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER | Nicole is a super athlete with sprint speed and even a background in the field jumps. Proper coaching - and the push from her club mates - have pushed her to new heights in the past two years. Most of all, we see her as dangerous down the stretch; she did just win the Harlem Mile!
RUNNING BACKGROUND | Nicole was a stellar high school athlete; she played soccer, ran sprints and did both high jump and long jump. Joining Oiselle’s volee — a “tribe of strong, successful women” — spurred her to change gears from a few post-collegiate years of easy solo running. She now trains with the speedy ladies of Queens Distance Runners. But that’s not all. A strong swimmer, she’s training for the USA Triathlon National Championships.
WHAT DREW HER TO SIGN UP | Nicole says she can’t wait to mix it up among some of the city’s fastest women. Did we say Nicole was a true competitor?
MILE PR | 5:36
5K PR | 19:16
HOMETOWN | Holtsville, New York
WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING | Outside of training or working (as a software developer), Nicole spends time with her dog. With so many pet lovers, maybe we need a TTB doggy dash.
CREW/CLUB | November Project BR
WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER | Jeannie placed top 10 in our super competitive Queensboro race last year. We see her leading a talented and deep NP team.
RUNNING BACKGROUND | Jeannie is an old school runner who was a nationally ranked high school athlete in an unusual and challenging event - 1500 meter race walk. She still races a range of distances; most recently, a 1:40 at NYC half marathon, and a marathon trail relay at the North Face series in Bear Mountain. Most of all, Jeannie gives back to her sport as co-leader of the new Brooklyn chapter of November Project. Why does she do it? Well she loves the culture, where “complete strangers become friends”.
WHAT DREW HER TO SIGN UP | She digs the “raw culture of running on NYC bridges”. We can’t really say it better!
MILE PR | 5:51
5K PR | 19:45
HOMETOWN | Massapequa, New York
WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING | Manages a speakeasy called Sidecar (d'oh! cat's out of the bag).