3.1 BOSTON | MEN TO WATCH

Last year’s Take The Bridge men set the bar very high in NYC.  Times dropped and competition grew tighter race after race, as some of the fastest guys in the city dueled repeatedly over the East River bridges.  But just as critically, these local elite runners were an inclusive, friendly bunch who were a barrel of fun at the afterparties.

We have no doubt the Take The Bridge Boston men will stage a race for the ages.  Our night includes 2 laps. An optional set of stairs. Several sub 4:10 milers. And forecast of light rain. We can’t wait to see how things shake out.  But you’ll see they’re an awesome bunch off the track too, a group who we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a little before the race.  We have some familiar faces in the mix too, like Brooklyn Track Club’s Steve Finley. But let’s meet our top new contenders:


 photo by Josh Cambell

photo by Josh Cambell

CONOR CASHIN

CREW/CLUB: The Heartbreakers

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Conor is a king at both selling shoes and running fast in them. We would run in anything this guys sells us, because his mile and 5K PRs are exceptional.  We’re sure that’s because of the shoes.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Conor ran in middle school, high school, and college. Both his parents are runners, so he really had no choice.  He’s in awesome shape, coming off a solid 8:21 3000 at an indoor meet in Boston.

WHAT DREW HIM TO SIGN UP: Conor found TTB while surfing the internet at work. Ok, he works as an event host Heartbreak Hill Running Company and was doing some research. We’re just glad he was intrigued enough to sign up.

MILE PR: 4:08. Yowza!

5K PR: 14:46

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Conor spends his days working at HHRC and coaching his girlfriend Caitlin, who is also racing this weekend.  There’s no prize for fastest couple. But if there were….


JORDAN DONNELLY

CREW/CLUB: The Heartbreakers. But also ran for a UK club called the Woodford Green Essex Ladies. Jordan, if you have an extra Green Essex Ladies singlet, your race director wants one.

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM:  Did you see those times? 4:06 / 1:51 indoors in 2017 alone.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:   “I just like running fast.” The Heartbreakers teammates call Jordan one of their most vocal, outgoing members.  But we grilled him on his running background, and that’s all we got.  Guy lets his legs do the talking.  

WHAT DREW HIM TO SIGN UP: Jordan was enticed by the TTB instagram content (c’mon, ya blame him?).  He noted that the race structure looks like street car drag racing with running shoes.  You know, he’s kinda onto something.

MILE PR: That 4:06. Indoors. Yeah you got that.

5K PR: 14:51

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Jordan enjoys drinking mango smoothies and eating eggs while travelling the world.  Maybe we have those activities in the wrong order.

 Photo by Eddie from C5K

Photo by Eddie from C5K


 photo by STRAVA

photo by STRAVA

DAVID KILGORE

CREW/CLUB: Skechers Performance Team and Florida Track Club

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM:  Just try and find this guy’s weakness. From the 800 to trail ultras, David can bring it. Our money’s on David on those stairs.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  David has spun a stellar running resume into “one hell of a ride”, as he puts it.  He ran for three (yeah) D1 track and XC programs: Colorado Buffs, Florida and Oklahoma State.  That’s gold to all you NCAA track fans.  He now races a mix that spans from 800s to ultras. And he coaches and works at summer run camps.

WHAT DREW HIM TO SIGN UP:  David is a TTB bandit come clean. The only reasons we invited him to sign up this time are his speedy resume and all-around charm.  And no that’s not a dare to all you speedy, charming types. No bandits, seriously.  But it is a good story.  Veteran TTB runner Tim Rossi urged David to sign up for TTB Queensboro last year. Which was full. So David ran it anyway. Yes he’s signed up for reals this time.

MILE PR: 4:05

5K PR: 14:17

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: David’s willing to try anything outdoors and adventurous.. But he also likes the zoo.


 photo by Josh Cambell

photo by Josh Cambell

MATT SALMINEN

CREW/CLUB: The Heartbreakers

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Matt’s quest to break 16:00 minutes in the 5k this year may produce a sick TTB time (and certainly a PR in the rarely-run “kinda 2.5 mile ” distance.)  He hit his impressive marathon PR of 2:43:50 at Boston a few years back. Will Marathon Weekend work its magic on Matt again?

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Matt is a semi-reformed soccer player who saw the light and began running in college. He signed up for a run club at Penn, which triggered a running addiction whose symptoms included marathon training. He joined the Nike Pacers and Heartbreakers upon moving to Boston in 2014. Guy is a beast who ran 2:44 at Berlin Marathon, in pursuit of 6 marathon majors.

WHAT DREW HIM TO SIGN UP:  Matt is a fan of urban running, night races and run crews. Sounds like our kinda guy.

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Matt works at Nike Boston and a biotech company in Cambridge. He enjoys soccer, Red Sox games, and traveling.

MARATHON PR: 2:43:50 (Boston 2014)

5K PR: 16:19

3.1 BOSTON | WOMEN TO WATCH

The women’s club runners created some of the top highlights of last year’s Take The Bridge summer series.  Ladies from Dashing Whippets, November Project, Finish Line PT and Brooklyn Navy (okay now Brooklyn Track Club) toed the line and made for thrilling races, time and again.  And after throwing elbows on the course, they joined us in tossing back beers at the afterparty. It was a great summer.

So we are incredibly excited at the huge club turnout for TTB Boston, led by Heartbreakers and November Project.  Our top newcomers include D1 runners from Providence and Villanova, running with the backing that a strong college running experience can provide.  And many are new to TTB. There’s nothing more exciting in our small race than watching track or road speedsters tackle an unfamiliar environment.  

So let’s meet some of our top new contenders. We cannot wait to see them race Saturday, both against the course, each other. We’re also stoked to see a few familiar faces from TTB past (shout out to Lena Placzek of Brooklyn Track Club, a D1 runner in her own right):


 Photo by Josh Campbell Photo

Photo by Josh Campbell Photo

CAITLIN ABELSETH

CREW/CLUB: The Heartbreakers

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: As many a track coach says, you can’t teach speed. Well Caitlin’s got it.  She owns a USATF New England 800 meter title, clocking in at 2:09, and just set a mile PR of 4:48.  And Caitlin admits that she is “flirting” with long distances.” She scored for the Heartbreakers at Cross Country Nationals, and has a 17:30 5k PR.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Caitlin was a sprinter in high school, ran the 400 for the mighty Providence track and field program, and moved up to the 800 her senior year. She was hooked, and the 800 is now her go-to distance.  But we’re pretty sure that flirtation with long distance is going to lead to some big things.

WHAT DREW HER TO SIGN UP: Caitlin is part of the Heartbreaker contingent that is repping big time at TTB Boston.  Among them, her boyfriend/coach/teammate Conor (check out our men’s preview).

MILE PR: 4:48

5K PR: 17:30

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: Caitlin works at New Balance as a Run Speciality Associate Account Specialist. When not running, she likes to read and watch Netflix (her current favorites are One Tree Hill and Hot to Get Away with Murder. Go figure).

**Photo credit: Josh Campbell Photo


CLAUDIA TISHLER

CREW/CLUB: The Heartbreakers

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: Claudia is setting PRs left and right as a post-collegiate athlete.  We love her range, and her guts.  She’s run a bunch of half marathons, and just set a 5K PR of 18:17 in some nasty conditions at Craicfest.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Claudia began running in high school (man do we love high school track at TTB).  She says it took her a while to find her groove. But in this case finding her groove meant walking onto the storied Villanova track and field team as a distance runner.  We’re impressed.

WHAT DREW HER TO SIGN UP: She heard the hype and had to check it out, she says. First TTB, first unsanctioned race. We think Claudia’s going to kill it Saturday.

MILE PR: 5:17

5K PR: 18:17.

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: As a new urban dweller (she moved to Boston from the suburbs), Claudia spends her free time exploring the city.


LEIGH GERSON

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: A New Yorker putting it on the line in Beantown. Kinda like Mookie Wilson.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Leigh’s been a fixture in the NYC running community for a few years.  She’s won the Orchard Street Runners Midnight Half, and has come to (cheer) her share of Take The Bridge races.  Had a couple of setbacks with winter training (Cry me a frozen river, say Bostonians) but feeling back on track and “loving running again.”

WHAT DREW HER TO SIGN UP: First one and admits to being pretty nervous because she says she’s more of a long distance specialist.

MILE PR: 5:14

5K PR: 16:48. A long time ago, and “in a half marathon”? There’s gotta be a story there.

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: Leigh does pilates, checks out new restaurants and pretty much tries to enjoy life.  

  **Photo credit: Fred Goris, @fredgoris

**Photo credit: Fred Goris, @fredgoris

written by Adam Barcan + Jennie Cohen

3.1 BOSTON | CO-HOST: HEARTBREAKERS RUN CLUB

We've visited Boston a number of times in the past few weeks:  to plan the race, scout courses and connect with local runners.  Co-hosts The Heartbreakers have welcomed us into their community from our first visit.   We sat with head coach Dan Fitzgerald to talk about the team's roots, and what they are building.  Dan is the HEART and soul of this club, who has built Heartbreakers into a leading force in the Boston running scene (oh, and they're fast as hell too).  So read on to hear why we are SO excited to partner with Heartbreakers in hosting TTB Boston. We love these guys!

No pun intended – It seems like the Heartbreakers are at the heart of the running community here in Boston. What in your opinion makes the Heartbreakers special, how have you built such a sense of community in your club?

What sets us apart is our ability to make meaningful and deep connections to our runners. What started as the first free public speed session in Boston became a club because people wanted to represent the training group in races. We used to do a track workout and drills every Thursday and we'd drink beer late after every workout. We became a tight crew who knew each other as runners first. After 5 years of that, we decided to make it formal. Every thing from that point on was influenced by the community within the team and my experiences, first, as a collegiate athlete (the close family that created) and, second, as coach to the community of people training for Boston. The team really feels like a family. There's a list of benefits for people who are considering joining but it's funny to me how small all of those things are compared to the real benefit: the family of Heartbreakers.

We know you welcome all types/ages/abilities of runners to your workouts and club, how do you as Chief Heartbreaker (Coach) approach the real challenges of tailoring your workouts and message to this broad and diverse population of athletes?

I strongly believe in setting up a positive, empowering atmosphere. With that as an operating principle, the different speeds work along side each other and support each other. At each practice, we have an "A" (advanced) workout and a "B" (intermediate) workout. Runners self select into which workout they want and usually group up or pair up based on speed once they choose a workout. No one is made to feel uncomfortable if they are slower. All I care about is effort and the team at large is the same way.

Screenshot 2017-04-11 23.45.22.png

What do the normal weekly workouts you offer look like?

TUES |  Heartbreaker Practice (team only)- longer intervals, hills, tempo running on a track, Heartbreak Hill, or Boston Common

THURS | Speed Session (free; public) - shorter intervals, hills, tempo running with drills session

SATURDAY | Long run at Heartbreak Newton (Free; public)

We’ve heard tale of something called “Office Hours” held once a month; can you tell the TTB community at large what that’s all about and maybe how it got started?

Our "Office Hours" run is the easiest thing we do. It's a  group run after which we hang out and have a beer. I wanted a regular run on the calendar that wasn't focused on getting better at running; this one is about getting to know your teammates better and getting some face time with me as a coach.

You have long been involved with preparing and training runners for the Boston Marathon, especially people running for charities that might be new to running or maybe just new to the distance. What have you learned in your time doing this about what this race means for the city and for those raising money for charity?

The race itself, as the longest continuously run marathon in north america, as the target of a terrorist attack (2013), and as a celebration and competition always runs, always inspires, and always feels special. Nothing unites this city and its runners like it's marathon. In the case of the charity runners, their grit, their deep connections to their causes, their journey of self discovery over the course of the training period, and then their realization of a life dream/goal in the race's finish embody everything that is the Boston Marathon.

 Photo by Josh Cambell

Photo by Josh Cambell

You were named the New England USATF club of the year recently, you’ve sent runners to the Olympic trials, you’ve had runners wear the stars and stripes and compete for the USA in XC championships, and your hearts can be seen on victory podiums all over the area. Can you fill us in on who “The Flyers” are and how they fit into the club? Are they a tight knit crew? In what ways do they help you inspire and guide the club?

I'm really proud of the Flyers and their accomplishments. Cate (USATF Nationals), Rosa (XC Team USA), Lou, and the team at large have had a great year. The Flyers started with Lou (our team captain). He came on as our Newton store manager shortly after working a stint in B2B PR and that got him training harder again. He had let some fitness go after competing at Boston College as an undegrad. His renewed focus resulted in a really amazing season in 2015. He was the USATF-NE road racing champ that year (repeated again in 2016) and set PRs at every distance from the mile up. After that year, he wanted a cast around him so he started recruiting some friends. I worked with Lou to make sure that the people who come on understand that they are a part of something different. This team is "team first" and I always stress that. We don't have standards or an application. You have to come to us and want to run for us. It's important to me that they are integrated with the larger team so I do a lot of thinking around ways to get them interacting and supporting each other.

The Flyers are very tight. Many of them workout together. Lou's two roommates are also Flyers (David & Jonny). The group enjoys the freedom of being able to choose their own coach, workout times, and more. I want them to be empowered to do their best running, not be pushed into a framework or bogged down with the BS of some of the legacy clubs. In our only our 3rd year as a club and with only our one year of the Flyers, I'm very pleased with were we are.

 Photo by Josh Cambell

Photo by Josh Cambell

What’s your favorite place to run in Boston?

JP/Brookline's muddy river path & Jamaica Pond.

Favorite Track workout?

I was an 800m runner so I like 200s or 300m build ups. I like to spin the wheels then do some drills. 12x200 @ with 30 sec recovery was a my favorite one in college. That's evolved to 8 x 200 with 60 seconds of recovery. It's just enough work to stay sharp.

Favorite post workout fuel?

Depends on the time of day: egg sandwich or cheese burger.

Beer or Coffee after a hard workout?

Depends on the time of day again. More often it's beer. I prefer to exercise at the end of the day.

Favorite Beer?

Harpoon IPA.

questions by Jared Calabrese

3.1 BOSTON | CO-HOST: BROOKLYN TRACK CLUB

Last year both Brooklyn Navy Track Crew and the Lost Boys each hosted a race in our traditional summer series.  If you look through the photos from our talented photographers, you’ll notice an overlap.  Members wore each other’s team jerseys.  So in the time since TTB’s 2nd summer series, it only makes sense that both teams are now officially joining forces.  Take The Bridge Boston will be their first race, running as Brooklyn Track Club.  While founding members of both groups: Leigh Anne Sharek, Agustin Lastra, Darcy Budworth, and Tim Rossi, are still helping to find the main direction of BTC.  Leading the charge, is Head Coach, Steve Finley. We sat down with Finley, to find out what brought the two groups together, and what his plans are for BTC in the coming year.

 Photo by Zach Hetrick

Photo by Zach Hetrick

Give us a little background on BTC, and what you are working on creating for the team in the next year.

The Brooklyn Track Club is the combination and evolution of the Brooklyn Navy and Lost Boys TC groups that have been racing on the scene the last couple of years. Since the summer bridge races I started to coach or work closely with most of the Lost Boys squad, and continued to coach many of our tight knit BNTC group. One day we realized if both groups ran in one jersey we would have a solid team of athletes, and people.

Crew or Club?

Club, Crew, as long as it’s a group of people chasing the same passion it makes no difference really. After discussing with the group we decided on Brooklyn Track Club because we wanted to be straight forward about our intention as a group, our home base is in Brooklyn and our main focus is on performance.

In last year's interview co-founder of BNTC Agustin compared crews to tribes and noted that clubs have a lot of rules and regulations.  What measures are you taking to keep with the same feel of BNTC and LB?

We’ll be relaxed as always, you learn over time it’s hard to implement too many rules as a coach. My main goal is to help everyone get whatever they want out of the sport. Besides, the Lost Boys are like a bunch of wild animals, even with our new squad you’ll still see the occasional Lost Boys jersey on the underground NYC running circuit.

 Photo by John Benitez

Photo by John Benitez

You've cheered at many TTB races, but you finally raced the NYC vs the World event for the NYC Marathon weekend.  Are you racing or cheering in Boston?

Nothing beats lacing them up and racing. I will be “racing” Saturday night in Boston. Wouldn’t miss it.

Favorite hoods to run in NYC?

Lower East Side, Red Hook Bk, both are relatively isolated and have great track facilities

Favorite place to run in Boston?

The Franklin Park trails are always the highlight in Boston, the indoor track at the Reggie Lewis Center’s is a close second.

Favorite workout?

1000s with full recovery.

Favorite fuel after a hard workout?

Guinness and chocolate milk, respectively.

 Photo by  Christophe Tedjasukmana

Photo by  Christophe Tedjasukmana

Take your first bridge

So it’s your first Take The Bridge. And you’ve heard it hurts. Well rest assured, it hurts for everybody, even our top runners. So today, we sit down with a few TTB legends to learn a little more about their race strategy.

You may be just up for a shake out run before 26.2 this weekend. We applaud that - enjoy our run and save it for Sunday. But if you're here to race the bridge, heed their words. It will still hurt, but at least you’ll know what to expect!

Finally, remember that many of these quotes are about camaraderie and cold beer.  Because that is the vibe we as organizers strive for. So if nothing else, be motivated by two things that await you at the finish -- a big welcome from our #cheersquad, and an afterparty with the whole Take The Bridge community. 

See you on the bridge!

Adam

 Pete Thompson,  @peetigga

Pete Thompson, @peetigga

Pure adrenaline and excitement pushes you forward at the beginning and up the hill but once you turn around, your legs and your mind catch up to each other. You want to push even harder than before but the bridge suddenly seems infinitely longer than you knew it to be.
— Jessica
Don’t be afraid to lay it all out on the course! It goes by quickly so push your limits and have no regrets.
— Jessica Snider-Rodriguez, November Project, 2 x Top 5 in TTB this year
Get out fast. Speed up before the turn around because it will force you to slow down to a certain extent. [But at] TTB Brooklyn I found the downhill at the end to be challenging — maybe because in my head I planned on that to be the easiest part of the race, but when you are sprinting a mile, even a downhill at the end is not easy.
— Emmi Aguilard, Dashing Whippers, 4th place in TTB debut at Brooklyn. Winner at Brooklyn Running Co's Brooklyn Mile, Open Division
I love the people, refreshing atmosphere, organization, and definitely the beer at the end!!
— Emmi
 Janelle Hartman,  @janhart26

Janelle Hartman, @janhart26

 Janelle Hartman,  @janhart26

Janelle Hartman, @janhart26

This race starts uphill and the adrenaline can get to you... People will go nuts (and go for the prime) but just be patient.
— Tim Rossi, Lostboys, 2016 TTB 3-race series champion. 2x Top 2, 5x Top 4 in a TTB
This is a race like no other. It’s a small, competitive, fast group. And you may hate someone during the race but as soon as you finish everyone becomes friends again and goes to grab a few beers.
— Tim
A lot of people can say they’ve ran over this city’s bridges, but few can say they’ve raced them.
— Daniel
The hardest moment of the race is being patient on the uphill. It’s difficult to stay in control and trust that you’ll have the legs to make your move on the way back down.
— Daniel Marin Media, 2x TTB winner (Manhattan 2016, Williamsburg 2016)
 Pete Thompson,  @peetigga

Pete Thompson, @peetigga

When the world comes to town

My dad has a habit of saying 'Stop me if you've heard this one'. And then telling the same story for the nth time. Well any TTB veteran knows the story that our first race (Queensboro 2015) had 17 finishers - 9 men and 8 women. It was the result of our weeks of our cajoling (some say harassing) our friends to run.  And yes you can stop me if I ever tell you the story again. 

So let's tell a new one. Take The Bridge : NYC vs The World boasts 80 runners across three races. They represent 30 clubs and crews. 6 states + DC. 4 countries. Many are racing the marathon Sunday. But they're running our race too, whether to run fast or to check out a new piece of running culture on the best running weekend our city has to offer.  

Get to know the amazing out-of-town runners who are coming from far and wide to see what local NYC runners have built. You'll be glad you did. Some run with their own crews in London and San Fran, or with local chapters of November Project. Another is a marathon pacer. One is doing his third marathon in two months. Others have run a TTB and then moved to a new city.  

All have a cool story. Can't wait to meet them.

Thank you to Jennie Cohen (a 2x TTB winner) for doing these writeups!
 
— Adam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EMMA RAVIV

HOMETOWN: Washington, D.C.

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: Emma is entering TTB after a series of solid performances. She recently completed Ironman 70.3 Timberman, and ran an evenly split PR in the 5k which she said “felt awesome.”

RUNNING BACKGROUND: A relative latecomer to running, Emma ran her first half marathon just as she graduated from college. During law school, her training revolved around competing in the Boston Half Marathon . Once she joined November Project, her training picked up, and she knocked nearly a half hour off her average half marathon time (her half PR stands at 1:42:35).

TTB EXPERIENCE:  Even though she’s from out of town, this is not Emma’s TTB debut. While living in NYC, She ran TTB: Manhattan and Williamsburg, placing in the top 10. Now that she’s in DC, she admits she has “more of a life.” Does extra free time mean extra training? We’ll see this Friday.

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: Emma is a lawyer who works in policy at the US Copyright Office.

CREW/CLUB: November Project DC

MILE PR: 6:03

5K PR: 20:59

 Photo credit: Ben Ko, @ benkophoto

Photo credit: Ben Ko, @benkophoto


 Photo credit: Spencer Cotton, @spencercotton

Photo credit: Spencer Cotton, @spencercotton

JENNI DUBMAN

HOMETOWN: San Francisco, CA

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: Jenni has been collecting PRs with lighting speed. She knocked 30 minutes off her 2016 Chicago marathon time,  and just ran her first sub-8 min half this year.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Jenni’s post-college move to San Francisco in 2010 marked the beginning of her running career. New to the city and short on funds, Jenni found running to be an inexpensive activity that also allowed her to explore her new hometown. Soon she became enamored with running and tried the SF half, and then found herself competing the full 26.2.

CREW/CLUB: Concrete Runners

WHAT BRINGS HER TO NYC: Competing in her first NYC marathon

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: Jenni likes going to Warriors games, comedy shows, and exploring San Fran’s culinary scene.


WHITNEY SUFLAS

HOMETOWN: Washington, DC.

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: Whitney is a badass -- even if she’s fighting a cold, she’ll show up to race. Add to that, she’s had success in the boroughs before, running a PR in the Brooklyn Half, so there’s no reason that she won’t lay it all out there on the Williamsburg Bridge.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Whitney started to run half marathons in college, and then ramped up her running even more once she moved to D.c.

WHAT BRINGS HER TO NYC: After running several marathons, Whitney decided that it is “time to give back.” She’s coming to cheer on friends in the marathon and volunteer at a water station.

CREW/CLUB: November Project

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: Whitney is a law student who divIdes her time between running, studying, and “maybe some Netflix.”


PILVI MUSCHITIELLO

HOMETOWN: STOCKHOLM (though a NYC resident as of a few weeks ago)

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: While Pilvi isn’t one who is all about speed, she is serious about technique and efficiency. And talk about the ultimate in efficiency: Pilvi ran her half marathon PR during a six hour layover and said the run felt “somehow natural.”

RUNNING BACKGROUND: She started running as a child in Finland, then went straight into competing in orienteering. A former elite swimmer, Pilvi started running again a few years ago.

CREW/CLUB: Ssideline CIty Run Club (That extra s stands for speed)!

HALF PR: 1:41:49

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: Learning Italian and Norwegian.


RYAN PERRICH

HOMETOWN: Fort Collins, Colorado

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM:  As an elite runner from Fort Collins, Colorado, Ryan travels around the country to pace races (can we sign up for that please?). With killer speed and some serious race strategy, Ryan is definitely one to keep an eye out for on the course.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Ryan played soccer in college. He transitioned to running to keep his fitness up, but developed an itch for more intensity and began racing. He quickly became a competitive racer for a local elite team in Colorado.

WHAT BRINGS HIM TO NYC: 3:10 pacer for the NYC marathon (he just paced 3:10 in Chicago and came in 3:09:30, running in about a dozen Boston qualifiers).

TTB EXPERIENCE:  This is Ryan’s debut! He credits a friend with cluing him in to TTB, and admits he is “all about such a cool urban underground movement.”

CREW/CLUB: FOCO Roosters (Runners Roost Fort Collins, Colorado)

MILE PR: 4:43

5K PR: 15:46


RUNE REVSBAEK

HOMETOWN: London

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Rune started running four years ago when he quit smoking.  Now he is a globe trotting runner with a sick racing streak: he ran London, Berlin and Chicago all this year! And he’s ready to take on his fourth World Major of 2016 in NYC.

CREW/CLUB: Run Dem Crew

WHAT BRINGS HIM TO NYC: Racing the NYC Marathon. Rune also says that TTB is “obviously a must when in NYC.”

MARATHON PR: 2:58 (Berlin 2016)

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Head of Supply Chain within the food sector.


JOON WONG

HOMETOWN: London

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Joon hasn’t been to NYC in 7 years. Will letting loose on the city streets after a long absence bring out his inner speed demon?

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Running to work in the summer of 2014 morphed into a solid running hobby, including running a recent 5k in just a shade over 20 minutes.   

CREW/CLUB: November Project

WHAT BRINGS HIM TO NYC: Racing the marathon this Sunday.

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Joon does yoga and drinks whiskey (at the same time? We aren’t sure.)


CHARLIE DARK

HOMETOWN: London

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM:  We’re sad to say Charlie is missing the race due to a hamstring injury. That just means we’ll see more of him at the cheersquad! Look for Charlie’s Run Dem Crew to have a big presence at this race.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Charlie is the founder of Run Dem Crew, a large (and growing larger) crew in London that champions hard running, creativity, and also provides mentoring for young people in London.

TTB EXPERIENCE: First time at a Take The Bridge race, but firmly believes “it’s currently the best race on the planet.”

CREW/CLUB: Run Dem Crew

HALF PR: 1:34 (at the NYC half “many moons ago”)

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Makes music, DJs, and travels the world “spreading #crewlove and the power of Run Dem.”


 Photo credit: Josh Campbell,  @joshcampbellphoto

Photo credit: Josh Campbell, @joshcampbellphoto

HEMAYAT CHOWDHURY

HOMETOWN: Dhaka, Bangladesh (lives in Boston)

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM:  Running his third marathon in two months, with a little TTB in between.  We are watching him because he makes your race directors feel lazy and we want to see if he has any weakness. But we don’t think so.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Moved to Boston after college and got into distance running through NIKE Boston.

TTB EXPERIENCE: Debut! Heard about us through buddy and Nike pacer Jared Calabrese.

CREW/CLUB: The Heartbreakers

PR HE’S PROUD OF:  3:00:42 at Chicago Marathon last month, his first BQ, just 4 weeks after running the Lehigh Valley Marathon in Pennsylvania. Dude is a beast.

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Thinks about running. And what to eat. And then he goes running and eats something.

WHAT BRINGS HIM TO NYC: You guessed it! Racing the marathon this Sunday.


2.5 NYC vs THE WORLD: local men to watch

The unsanctioned elite. NYC area runners elevated Take The Bridge into one of the fastest games in town this year.

For the men, legends Daniel Marin and Tim Rossi ruled the day in Williamsburg and Manhattan. But as we’ve said, each TTB race brings new talent and new stories. Favorite Jerry Faulkner (Tim’s Lostboy teammate) held off newcomer Sean Mahon of Bellmore Striders at Queensboro.  But Sean would have a powerful win at Brooklyn, pushed by Jason Lakritz of Finish Line PT.  Zach Rivers (yet another Lostboy) and Tim took third and fourth, respectively, in both races.

The NYC vs The World men’s local field features five runners who placed top three at a TTB this season — Daniel, Tim, Jason, Zach and Jeremy Mulvey (take a guess who he runs for).  

Let's get to know their speedy competitors!

— Adam


 Photo by Da Ping Luo @ the Brooklyn Mile

Photo by Da Ping Luo @ the Brooklyn Mile

ANDRE LABOY

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Andre is a fixture at OSR runs who knows unsanctioned running! He was a national caliber runner in high school, and ran D1 for a little school called Georgetown. So yeah, he runs 10-15 miles a week now.  A 16:55 at 2016 Red Hook Crit shows he hasn’t exactly hung up the boots.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Andre ran track and XC at Danbury High in Connecticut, at St. Joseph’s University, and at Georgetown.   

CREW/CLUB: Brooklyn Running Company

TTB EXPERIENCE:  Making a debut!

MILE PR: 4:06

5K PR: 14:12

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Run coach and tech project manager


STEVE FINLEY

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM:  Finley was the tall guy you saw battling for the prime at Red Hook Crit 2016. He's still tall. And he still likes going for primes. Hint, hint, hint. 

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Coach Finley was Pac-10 steeplechase champ for the Oregon Ducks in 2011.  Take a deep breath and read that again.

Pro tip: If it rains , and you fall into a puddle, just stay low. Finley will hurdle right over you.**

TTB EXPERIENCE:  Afterparty-finder-in chief. First time racing.

CREW/CLUB: Brooklyn Navy Track Crew

MILE PR: Won’t say. We dredged up a 4:06. Finley if your PR is faster we’ll fix it.

5K PR: Do you really want to know? Get a few beers in him.

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: NRC coach and very charming beer sales rep

**The forecast Friday looks nice and clear!

 Photo credit: Ben Ko, @benkophoto

Photo credit: Ben Ko, @benkophoto


 Photo credit: Ironman World Championship Triathlon

Photo credit: Ironman World Championship Triathlon

GAREN RIEDEL

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: A former pro triathlete.  Like for reals.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Garen has an impressive and moving story. The loss of his mother to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) prompted him to sign up for the 2010 Ironman Cozumel as a means of raising money to fund ALS research, Three years later, he was a world-class triathlete who made it to Kona, and won triathlons at all major distances. He has also personally raised about $75K toward ALS research.

TTB EXPERIENCE: First one and quite excited. Most of all, Garen looks forward to beating the J train across the Williamsburg Bridge.

CREW/CLUB: Finish Line PT

MILE PR: 4:32

5K PR: 16:05. Garen says the 5K is “not his thing”. You try a 16:05, kids.

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Garen runs a design and PR consulting firm.


STEVE CRNIC

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Steve is a super well-rounded runner. His speedy middle distance PRs are no joke. A recent 1:13 at Brooklyn Half shows his strength. And he set a course record in winning the challenging 2015 Paine to Pain Trail Half in Westchester. We’re excited to see what he’s got in his first Take The Bridge — aka, an urban trail race.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: A lifelong competitive runner, Steve ran high school track and x-c in Connecticut and collegiately at NYU. Getting back into racing after an injury layoff (your race director can relate).

TTB EXPERIENCE: Making a debut. Steve’s enjoyed the atmosphere as a TTB spectator. In his words, “Everyone seems pumped up about running and racing, and the night-running style of the races heightens the excitement.”

CREW/CLUB: Run Brooklyn Apparel

WHEN HE’S NOT RUNNING: Marketing and events manager at Brooklyn Running Company

MILE PR: 4:19

5K PR: 15:47

 Photo credit: Melissa Holtz, @melisinestudio

Photo credit: Melissa Holtz, @melisinestudio


2.5 NYC vs THE WORLD: local women to watch

Anybody who witnessed our Take The Bridge women’s races this year saw some of the most competitive racing in the city.  

Leigh Anne Sharek and Jennie Cohen dominated the early season.  Jennie won our first TTB Williamsburg in March, as well as TTB Manhattan, before ending her season with an injury. And Leigh Anne was our three-race series champion. 

But the best thing about TTB is that you never know who will show up. Notre Dame track alumna Meg Ryan won Queensboro over a tight trio, including Jennie’s Whippets teammate Elizabeth Laseter, Victoria Kornieva of Bellmore Striders and Leigh Anne. At TTB Brooklyn Victoria lead the field, with Elizabeth, Leigh Anne, and newcomer Emmi Aguillard of Dashing Whippets following shortly after..

The NYC vs The World local women’s field welcomes five runners who placed top five at a TTB this year — Leigh Anne, BNTC teammate Lena Placzek, Emmi, Jessica Snider-Rodriguez of November Project, and Kate Reese of Brooklyn Running Company.

Let’s get to know the women who will challenge them.

— Adam


CARLY GRAHAM

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: Carly has track speed and talent, having grown up a competitive runner. She has not raced frequently of late. But when she does, it sure counts.  She just blitzed an 18:27 at the Bronx 5K.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Carly was an all-state runner in high school in Syracuse, NY. She ran track and cross-country for Ithaca College, and coached there while attending grad school in physical therapy.  She’s continued to race in distances from the mile to the half marathon.

CREW/CLUB: Finish Line PT

TTB EXPERIENCE:  Making a debut!

MILE PR: 5:14

5K PR: 18:20

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: PT @ Finish Line

 Photo by NYRR

Photo by NYRR


 Photo by Zach Hetrick | @zhetrick

Photo by Zach Hetrick | @zhetrick

FAITH BRIGGS

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER:  Mile chops and sprint speed. We can’t wait to see Faith’s kick down the stretch.  

RUNNING BACKGROUND: A college sprinter, Faith shares our love for short races. As she puts it, “much of the run community focuses on longer races, so it's always nice to get some speed work in.”  But she’s also getting ramped up impressively at longer distances. She recently cut 8 minutes from her half-marathon PR in Toronto, and was third female at the super competitive Harlem One Miler in June.

TTB EXPERIENCE:  This is her first time racing TTB! Faith says she loves the vibes of unsanctioned night races.  We’ve seen her race SBRC’s Superfund Superun and cheer at OSR races.  

CREW/CLUB: Black Roses

MILE PR: 5:30

5K PR: 21:04

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: Documentary filmmaker


KATE REESE

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: Okay, so Kate is not a TTB newcomer. As we said, she took a strong 5th in her TTB debut at Brooklyn last month.  But that race was one of her first in years, following a strong 18:20 over a hilly three-miler a month earlier that cemented a long comeback from injury. We’re excited to see what she has this time!

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Kate ran college track and cross country at Haverford; she returned as a coach there.

TTB EXPERIENCE:  2nd race, 1st time on home turf of Willy B.

CREW/CLUB: Run Brooklyn Apparel

MILE PR: 5:12

5K PR: 17:45

WHEN SHE’S NOT RUNNING: Store manager at Brooklyn Running Co

  Photo by Melissa Holtz |   @melisinestudio

Photo by Melissa Holtz | @melisinestudio


2.4 BROOKLYN: race recap

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.  

  The place to be. Runners, race crew, photogs, fans pack the bridge.   Photo by Tahiti Abdul:    @tahitidiy

The place to be. Runners, race crew, photogs, fans pack the bridge. Photo by Tahiti Abdul: @tahitidiy

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.

  Running, cheering, working race crew. A beer helps. Photo by Nichole Ricketts:    @nricketts25

Running, cheering, working race crew. A beer helps. Photo by Nichole Ricketts: @nricketts25

"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

 















 

2.4 BROOKLYN: men to watch

Take The Bridge Queensboro had our deepest, fastest men’s field to date. You needed a 5:20 pace - on that steep, brutal course - to crack the top eight. We think the TTB Brooklyn guys are even deeper. Yes. 6 of our top 10 return, plus three additions you’ll see profiled below. This race demands a different strategy from Queensboro -- the ramp is gentler, and the course just 1.2 miles. So we know sparks will fly out of the gate.

Let’s get to know the men’s contenders who will challenge the runners you’ve gotten to know in our past profiles, like Tim Rossi, Daniel Marin and Zach Rivers.


SEAN MAHON

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Sean has proven speed and guts. He’s our top returner from TTB Queensboro, and he’s mile-race sharp. ‘Nuff said.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Sean ran track and XC at Calhoun High on Long Island, and at CW Post University. This year, he’s been killing it across a range of distances and surfaces. That includes a victory at last month’s Main Street Mile in Farmingdale (4:26), and a 4:29 on the track at NBR’s McCarren Park Track Classic in April. In the winter, he ran a 9-flat indoor 3000m and a half-marathon PR of 1:14.  

TTB EXPERIENCE:  Sean lit up TTB Queensboro with a gutsy runner-up performance. He won the prime and pushed winner Jerry Faulkner to the end. He called the race the hardest he’s done, but also the most fun.  Like his teammate Victoria, Sean snuck into TTB Queensboro under the radar (our fault). But he enters TTB Brooklyn as one of the favorites.  

CREW/CLUB: Bellmore Striders

MILE PR: 4:24 / 4:05 1500

5K PR: 15:45


JASON LAKRITZ

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Mile chops, with two hot races in two months. Jason ran 4:26 at Brooklyn Running Company’s Brooklyn Mile in August, and followed with up a 4:23 at Fifth Ave Mile.  Don’t let the photo fool you -- Jason ALWAYS waits an hour after eating before he runs.  So you’re not gonna get him there.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Ran for Florida State and Long Island University.  Has represented Urban Athletics since 2011.

TTB EXPERIENCE:  Making a debut!

CREW/CLUB: Urban Athletics and Finish Line PT

MILE PR: 3:57 (1500)

5K PR: 14:46 "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away"


JOHN HONERKAMP

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: A former pro middle-distance runner, John can still show those young guns a thing or two. He took 5th place in his inaugural TTB this year, and will be right at home on this short, fast course.  Hey kids, this guy has a 1:47 800 PR. Show him no mercy because he’s not showing you any!

RUNNING BACKGROUND: A college star at St John’s and 1996 Olympic Trials semi-finalist at 800 meters, “Coach John” is a fixture on the NYC running scene. He has truly has made a career out of the sport we love, as a coach at NYRR, a speaker and educator, and co-head of November Project NYC. We know that if any celebrities (besides John) ran TTB, John would be the guy to pace them. If they could keep up.

TTB EXPERIENCE:  5th place in his TTB debut, TTB Manhattan 2016, behind November Project teammate Myles Fennon.  What made him join race it? "I wanted to try something non-traditional, he says. I love the race and the rogue nature of the event."

CREW/CLUB: November Project

MILE PR: 4:01*

5K PR: we’re not sure, but it’s fast

*  set during Tim Rossi’s childhood.
 PHOTO BY PETE THOMPSON

PHOTO BY PETE THOMPSON


 PHOTO BY   True Speed Photo

WIL CRAMER

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Wil is a talented dude with several quick performances in his hometown Atlanta. He’s not only on the injury comeback but also new to NYC. We’re exciting to see what he’s got.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: A high school track and x-c runner, Wil was strong in the Atlanta road racing circuit from the 5-K to the half marathon.  He won the 2015 Georgia Publix Half-Marathon in 1:16:54.

TTB EXPERIENCE: TTB debut (and NYC racing debut)!  Will says he’s “heard amazing things about the TTB experience” and wanted to do a race that “feels totally unique to the New York running community”.  He hopes this will be his first of many times racing TTB. We hope so too!

CREW/CLUB: Run Brooklyn Apparel

MILE PR: 4:32 (yep, high school times count)

5K PR: 15:50ish

2.4 BROOKLYN: women to watch

We took the brave move of predicting the Take The Bridge Queensboro women’s race as “hard to call”. You know, that’s like saying “somebody” will be named our president as of November 9.  So this time? Maybe harder to call. Three of our top four ladies from last race return, and man were they close last time. Just 6 seconds separated second-place Elizabeth Laseter, third-place Victoria Kornieva-Robitaille and fourth-place Leigh Anne Sharek. And don’t forget Take The Bridge Brooklyn is half the distance, at just 1.2 miles.  You can bet this race will be fast from the gun and tight at the finish.

You know Elizabeth’s and Leigh Anne’s stories from past profiles. Get to know Victoria, TTB newcomer Emmi Aguillard, and TTB veteran Erin Higgins.


VICTORIA KORNIEVA-ROBITAILLE

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: Victoria can flat-out run, in the TTB sweet spot of 1 mile to 5K. She knows the TTB drill, having run very tough on the Queensboro. We love her mile speed. She flew in under the radar (our fault) to last race, but now she enters as one of the favorites.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Ran competitively as a high-schooler in Ukraine, then won a scholarship there to run collegiate track and cross-country. Took a break, and eased back into running ‘just for fun’ after moving to the States. Victoria says she is now in ‘the best shape ever’ thanks to two years of training under Long Island’s Bellmore Striders. Victoria is proud of her many strong mile races this year, given she’d ‘much rather run a half marathon than a mile on any given day’.  Victoria has been killing it in 2016. That includes a win at the tough and hilly Kings Park 15k, and PRs at 5K (17.36) and the road mile (5:01). #anditsonlyoctober

TTB EXPERIENCE:  Victoria ran strong from the gun in her inaugural TTB, en route to third place. She admits the race was harder than she expected, calling the downhill on the way back was ‘just brutal’.  And there was ice cold beer as a motivator, she points out!

CREW/CLUB: Bellmore Striders

MILE PR: 5:01 (road) / 5:07 (track)

5K PR: 17:36

 PHOTO BY  ED GRENZIG

PHOTO BY ED GRENZIG


 PHOTO BY STRAVA

PHOTO BY STRAVA

EMMI AGUILLARD

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: Every TTB race has a fast debut performance, and we pick Emmi to impress for the women. She has mile fitness, and the motivation to boost Dashing Whippets in the team standings. TTB women, meet your X-factor.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Emmi ran D1 track and cross-country for Tulane University (although she admits to enjoying New Orleans a little too much. How could you not?).  She has run for the Whippets since moving to New York to study physical therapy.  Emmi ran 5:27 to win the Open Division of Brooklyn Mile in August, and a recent 18:53 at Bronx 5K. She ran her first marathon at New York last year. Next stop, Boston 2017!

TTB EXPERIENCE:  Making a debut! Emmi did make it to the best part of TTB Queensboro - the afterparty. She says she loves the ‘cool, local feel’ of the race series, but always had schedule conflicts in the way of signing up. We’re glad she’s free for this one!

CREW/CLUB: Dashing Whippets and Finish Line PT

MILE PR: 4:46 1500

5K PR: 18:23 X-C


ERIN HIGGINS

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER:  Erin is a gutsy staple of our series who is at home racing at night. She has plenty of talent and experience. Expect her to run hard.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Erin ran four years of high school track and cross-country. Following a long layoff due to injury, she picked up training with a track club in NJ a few years ago and has slowly gotten back to racing. She admits to fighting a recent injury, and we respect her for still coming to race.  Big goal right now? Stay healthy to rock it at Boston 2017.

TTB EXPERIENCE:  5th place in her TTB debut, TTB Manhattan 2016, behind teammate Leigh Anne. Took 10th in the hyper-competitive TTB Queensboro last month.  Erin calls her TTB experience ‘amazing’ (thanks Leigh Anne for convincing her to sign up!). And she says the rush of racing at night is one her favorite things about Take The Bridge.  Well, this one starts two hours later than usual!

CREW/CLUB: Brooklyn Navy Track Crew

MILE PR: 5:09

5K PR: 18:38

 PHOTO BY PETE THOMPSON

PHOTO BY PETE THOMPSON

2.4 BROOKLYN BRIDGE CO-HOST: RESIDENT RUNNERS

Co-Hosts of our final bridge, Resident Runners is a small crew of runners, who gather together weekly to outrun one another.  Co-founders Eric Blevens, Raymond Hailes, and Rahsaan Rogers, know that running is more then just training for your next race, but instead about the community formed outside of running.  We couldn't agree more!  Read on to hear what inspired their formation, and how you can join them on Saturdays to eat tacos and drink too many margaritas (and beer).

 PHOTO BY MICHELLE KIM  |  @ michellekimphoto

PHOTO BY MICHELLE KIM  |  @michellekimphoto

RESIDENT RUNNERS  . . . GROUP, CLUB, OR CREW?

CREW, but the definition/difference between a crew and club probably varies depending on whom you're talking to. For us, crews represent a different approach to running, primarily as a lifestyle in which running is only one of many variables - not just training or a means to an end regarding races. We don't just run, we don't just train, we do it on top of building bonds, bridges, and community outside of running. For Resident Runners in particular, we consider our weekly meetings to run on Thursdays a reminder of our brotherhood and importance of the bond we've developed as friends, then runners. But trust us, we don't take things too seriously!

TELL US THE HISTORY AND INSPIRATION FOR RESIDENT RUNNERS.  HOW HAS THE GROUP EVOLVED?

Resident Runners began in March of 2013 as co-founder Raymond Hailes urged co-founder Eric Blevens to start their own crew. The inspiration came from watching notable crews like Bridge Runners do running differently. At its inception, there was no real direction or definitive goal for what Resident Runners would be. It grew naturally over the course of a year until the third official member, Rahsaan Rogers, randomly showed up at our door for a TACO RUN... and that's that. Over the last two years we've grown in bond, visibility, and size - now holding weekly runs of 15-20 runners compared to 4-5 only last year. While still only 3 official crew members, the Resident Runners family is comprised of runners, other crews, and friends who show up on Thursdays to run, Saturdays to eat & drink, and any other instance they're looking for a good time.

 PHOTO BY MICHELLE KIM  |  @ michellekimphoto

PHOTO BY MICHELLE KIM  |  @michellekimphoto

WHAT SETS RESIDENT RUNNERS APART FROM OTHER CREWS IN THE CITY?

We're small. Like, just three dudes small. We consider this to be a real strength, our "strength in numbers." Founded on the relationship and love that we have as friends, our approach to running and the events we host maintain the same simple approach: showing up, running, and then hanging. No other incentive, nothing promised, just running, good energy, and a near 100% guarantee of beer at some point. We owe our awesome times to the other crews and runners we call friends that also show up bringing the same energy and ability to have a good time.

WHERE IS YOUR HOME BASE?

SoHo is definitely home now. After partnering with Under Armour Run in October of 2015, we moved our Resident Runners HQ to the Under Armour Brand House on Broadway and have been loving every minute/mile. Our Thursday runs are known to be fast, with no pace groups or stops. We post the route ahead of time on our website and Instagram, plus have it available for everyone to view and follow on MapMyRun during the run. We treat Thursdays like a tempo, with whomever is feeling good setting the pace and everyone else chasing from the start. While it's possible some runners get left behind at some point, we encourage everyone to push and chase that person in front of them for as long as they can... In doing so you sometimes get lost, learn new routes, and definitely improve your pace over time. And at the end of the run, once everyone is done, we head nearby for beers to hang.

 PHOTO BY MICHELLE KIM  |  @ michellekimphoto

PHOTO BY MICHELLE KIM  |  @michellekimphoto

HOW CAN WE GET IN ON THESE TACO RUNS YOU ORGANIZE??

Simple, once a month on a given Saturday, it's going down! We post the TACO RUN dates in advance on our website (residentrunners.com/calendar) and post flyers on Instagram the week or so leading up. The next TACO RUN will be on October 29th, so mark your calendar and think of your excuse to cut work... we hear the flu is going around that time of year. Otherwise, show up ready for a chill run and 4-5 hours of tacos & margaritas at Gueros Brooklyn.

FAVORITE RUNNING ROUTE?

We have a 5.6 mile route that takes us from the Under Armour Brand House in Soho, over the Williamsburg bridge, down Bedford Avenue to Grand, to Kent up to Broadway and then back over the Williamsburg bridge back to the Brand House.  It's a killer route because its always fast and we hit the bridge back to back, so you have to get your mind right to speed over the bridge on the way back into the city to finish the run.

FAVORITE BRIDGE?

Definitely the Williamsburg bridge.  We run that bridge more than the others. Manhattan is always a good choice for a quick crossing too since it's the least crowded.

FAVORITE WORKOUT?

Tempo run.  There's no stopping and no off time.  Run as fast as you can for as long as you can.  Tempo runs show you what you're made of.  ///  The workout that you don't know anything about.  It's something about not knowing what you're getting into, it really pushes you to get it over with.  Also, any workout with the three of us because it gives us an opportunity to push each other.  

FAVORITE LOCAL SPOT FOR POST RUN RE-FUELING? COFFEE OR BEER?

After our Thursday night runs we hydrate at Bleecker Street Bar.  Other than that, you can find us at Guero's or Rosco's Pizza in Brooklyn.  Beer is always on the menu.  

FAVORITE TACO SPOT?

Gueros.  Easily.  It's like a second home.  Always get the large frozen margarita, be a champion.

 PHOTO BY MICHELLE KIM  |  @ michellekimphoto

PHOTO BY MICHELLE KIM  |  @michellekimphoto

2.3 QUEENSBORO: men to watch

We'll just say it. Again. TTB Queensboro has our deepest, strongest field yet, for men and women. Our male returnees from TTB Manhattan include a two-time TTB winner (Daniel Marin) and three others from top five (Tim Rossi, Jeremy Mulvey, Myles Fennon). You know we're watching these guys, and you'd be wise to watch them too.  But you think it's easy to stay on top? Let's get to know who's dropping in to challenge for the glory (and the prizes):


JERRY FAULKNER

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Need we say it? Jerry is one of the fastest guys in NYC.  He recently took first place in OSR's Men's 10K.  That aside, Queensboro is his local bridge and he's running to win.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Jerry straddles the divide between sanctioned and unsanctioned running better than maybe anybody else in the city. He has won three of his 23 marathons, with a PR of 2:21:53 at Hartford Marathon last year. He also ran 67 at the Brooklyn Half in 2013. Jerry co-founded Lost Boys with Tim Rossi. He's proud of their little club tripling to nine members. Hint, if you want your running club to triple, start with three people.

TTB EXPERIENCE: Making a debut!

CREW/CLUB: Lost Boys. Okay he also runs for somebody called NYAC.  Never heard of'em.

MILE PR: 4:20

5K PR: 14:30 (on the track. you know, cause you could do that too without all that pesky asphalt).


JORDAN ROSE

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Steller PRs on a stellar team with awesome coaching. You know he's training well! Handles hills pretty darn well from his marathon PR. And what are bridges really, but hills covered in graffiti and bike messengers?

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Picked up running after college to help a friend train for a marathon. No hating on Boston (go Sox), but Jordan says moving to New York has been a boon for his running.  Jordan calls the NYC running community "second to none". With all the people to run with, he's "training better and racing way more". Jordan is most proud of his marathon PR (2:53) from last year in Morgantown, West Virginia. The course was pretty hilly (+1,400 ft. of elevation gain), so the race gave him confidence he could improve on more favorable terrain.

TTB EXPERIENCE: Making a debut! Jordan says it's cool to put a race together around bridges, "one of the few unique running challenges in NYC." We could not agree more!

CREW/CLUB: Dashing Whippets

MILE PR: 4:49 (5th Ave Mile 2015)

5K PR: 17:09

 Photo by Ben Ko

Photo by Ben Ko


ZACH RIVERS

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HIM: Zach is a former D1 runner testing his current fitness. As they say on LetsRun.com, talent never goes away.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Ran high school XC and track, and then ran for Syracuse (yeah that 'Cuse, NCAA XC fans). Holds the course record at the Princeton Half-Marathon (1:12, in 2015)

TTB EXPERIENCE: Making a debut!

CREW/CLUB: Lost Boys

MILE PR: 4:27

5k PR: 15:11

 

2.3 QUEENSBORO: women to watch

We'll just say it. TTB Queensboro has our strongest field yet, for men and women. Our returnees from TTB Manhattan include a two-time TTB winner (Leigh Anne Sharek) and three others who placed in top five (Carly Gill, Jessica Snider-Rodriguez, Erin Higgins).  We DEFINITELY have our eyes on these athletes - they are truly women to watch.  But let's get to know a few others who will challenge for TTB prizes:


LENA PLACZEK

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER:  Track chops, mile speed, urban running cred. Just ripped a 5:07 at 5th Avenue Mile.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Lena started running at age 14 in Poland. In HS she ran on the Polish Junior National Team (800 & 1500m) and went to the World Championships in XC her junior year.  She moved to the U.S to run for the University of Iowa (track and cross country), and just recently got back into running and rediscovered her love for the sport!

TTB EXPERIENCE: Took fourth at TTB 2.1 (Williamsburg 2016). We think Lena has a ton of potential to improve!

CREW/CLUB: Brooklyn Navy Track Crew

MILE PR: 5:04

5K PR: 18:32

 Photo by Graham Macindoe

Photo by Graham Macindoe


ELIZABETH LASETER

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER:  Elizabeth comes highly touted by Jennie Cohen, two-time defending TTB champ. She also has participated in the World Champs for the Beer Mile.  Enough said.

RUNNING BACKGROUND: Elizabeth ran cross country and track for Johns Hopkins University, and has continued to train competitively since graduating. The mile and steeplechase were her races in college, but since then has transitioned to the 5K, 10K, and just to keep things interesting, the beer mile!

TTB EXPERIENCE: Making a debut!

CREW/CLUB: Dashing Whippets

MILE PR: 5:11

5K PR: 17:52


WHITNEY MCFADDEN

WHY WE ARE WATCHING HER: Killer track speed (hello kick) and that magic mojo that comes from running on November Project.

RUNNING BACKGROUND:  Lifelong soccer player (running FTW). County champ at 800m, 500m in high school at Walt Whitman in Bethesda MD (word to wise -- stay away from Whitney down the stretch). Running with NP since 2014, a path that has led, in Whitney's words, to "some of my fastest times and... the most amazing people!". No slouch at longer distances -- 3.17 marathon PR, and a 5:33 half Ironman!

TTB EXPERIENCE: Took 7th at TTB 2.1 (Williamsburg 2016)

CREW/CLUB: November Project

MILE PR: 5:23

5K PR: 19:36

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QUEENSBORO BRIDGE HOST: MTAR CREW

Meet George!  He is typically behind the camera at our races, but this Friday his newest creation, MTAR Crew will be co-hosting our race.  We sat down with him, to find out just what his crew is all about! 

TELL US ABOUT THE INSPIRATION FOR MTAR AND WHAT MOTIVATED YOU IN FORMING THE GROUP. HOW WOULD YOU SAY THE VIBE OF YOUR GROUP DIFFERS FROM SOME OF THE OTHER GROUPS/CREWS IN NYC AND HOW ARE THEY THE SAME? 


I came up with MTAR CREW WHICH STANDS FOR “MORE THAN A RUN CREW” BECAUSE running means way more then how it’s spelled. Meaning whether you’re training for a race, or trying to lose weight, or running to benefit a personal cause. At the same time supporting your fellow runners during there training seasons, or supporting there personal life projects or careers this is what MTAR CREW was built from. 

The difference between us is that ego's are not the main machine of our group, because throughout the years I've been with every group/crews out here and you can do a history check on that, and that's a huge reason that I've never attached myself to no group for that reason. At the same time, I can't be what I've never been, I can only be true to everything and everybody that comes threw my path. One thing that I've learned is, leaders can only be how it's spelled, so the question is "what I mean by this" is how can you lead people? When you don't even know where your at or where your going? I know East Harlem is where I'm located and all over the globe is where I'm going. 

YOU HAVE RECENTLY BEEN PARTNERING WITH MARNEY FROM URBAN ART RUNNING TOURS. TELL US MORE! 
Yes. It was a awesome run. Marnie from @runstreet reached out to me, telling me that she saw that our crew routes always involved art, and that's why she ask me if I wanted to collaborate on an art run that was based throughout Harlem, that would benefit a great cause for the (not a crime Champaign) @notacrimechampaign which has had artist from all over the world create full scale murals all over Harlem throughout the summer to bring awareness to the world about children in Iran that are not able to have an education because of their religious beliefs. So to make along story short, how could I say no? 


GEORGE, YOU HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED FOR MANY OF THE OSR RACES, AND MOST OF OUR TTB RACES. TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE OF THESE RACES, AND HOW YOUR VIEW MAY DIFFER THEN THE TYPICAL PERSON CHEERING? 
I support our urban running Circuit period, because it's more than just one huge organization that normally has running events that don't have the same passion. More or less, I say it like this because these smaller events that people like you and Joe feel more personal. As per conversations that we've had, these events bring many local runners, but I want New York to know that these events are happening, and at the same time they should come out an experience this even if their not running it. As far as what i see different then others are epic moments. I see what the runners don't see, I see what spectators don't see, meaning the deep down grime, passion, and drive that us as runners put into the sport of running an freeze that moment into history. I'm not here to discredit any other artist, but I still haven't seen nothing that even remotely near what I've produced throughout the years. 

EAST HARLEM IS YOUR CREWS PLAYGROUND. TELL US WHERE YOU NORMALLY MEET FOR RUNS DO YOU HAVE WEEKLY PLANNED MEET UPS? 
Now we have a weekly meet, on Thursdays 6:30pm meet, 7:10pm Run out of Dear Mama Coffee at 308 E 109th street, New York, N.Y. 10029

FAVORITE RUNNING ROUTES? East Harlem 100 percent, it's less congestion, and always something fresh and amazing going on day and night. Sorry to all other boroughs. 

FAVORITE WORKOUT? 
That's a problem, because I only run, and cycle, and do yoga

FAVORITE POST WORKOUT DRINK? 
Powerade, cold brew, whey protein. Not mixed together, one at a time. 

FAVORITE POST WORKOUT HANGOUT? 
Home... I do a lot of moving around throughout all the boroughs, but always feel better at home.