A week ago, the TTB Triboro fields lined the base of the Ward's Island Bridge, at the waterfront side of the FDR at 102nd Street in East Harlem. We bet not many New Yorkers have even heard of this little bridge. Well we love the idea of a badass race in a slightly out-of-the-way place. And runners embraced a route that broke a little from the usual TTB format.
This time, we ran over two bridges (Wards Island >> Triboro), and let the runners choose how they got from the first to the second. Most chose a well-researched short cut that included a dash across soccer fields, and even a shimmy through a small fence opening.
This path cut about a quarter mile from our recommended route to the 1st checkpoint - for the cash prime - at the base of the Triboro Bridge pedestrian path on Randall's Island. Athletes converged, holding their arms out for volunteers to slash them with black sharpies. They headed up the steep bridge ramp, where stairs, a narrow bike path, and the second checkpoint awaited. From that turnaround, it was downhill to the finish, back at the prime checkpoint. The prize for most? Some killer cheer squads lining the finish chute, and a little fresh kombucha.
First to race, the women! That made Nicole Falcaro of NP the first runner of the night to the prime, where she was greeted by outstretched arms, light sticks, and a double marker slash. Hell yeah! Nicole led most of the way, before Meg Ryan of Team MHRC overtook her to win the approximately 2.7 mile race in 15:59. Vicky Kornieva of Bellmore Striders was third.
As usual, you can kinda throw time out the window on a TTB course. This race had two bridges, stairs, tight turns and "a little cross country", as one runner said; in short, it demanded a race of strategy and our women thrilled.
Cory Helder of Dashing Whippets was first guy to the prime, as the weather threatened but never turned to serious rain - just a few drops. Although Cory held on for an impressive third, in 15:12, the night produced the expected duel between Greg Laraia of Custom Performance and Bellmore Striders’s Sean Mahon.
The two ran neck in neck to the second checkpoint, before Greg pulled away in 14:33, to avenge Sean’s win at TTB Manhattan. Avenge is not right; these are two of the friendliest guys around and rumor has it they trained together for this one. We’re holding our breath to see these two lock horns in our upcoming series finale!
One bridge left in the summer series. . . . See you on the bridge!