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Volume XXVIII, Number 5976
Friday, Nov 01, 2013

This Weekend In Parks: NYC Marathon

Photo by Daniel Avila

On Wednesday, NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica White, along with other city officials, sponsors, and non-profit partners, painted a blue line onto a path in Central Park, ceremonially marking the opening of the 42nd annual New York City Marathon. Next to the Marathon's signature blue was a bright yellow stripe, painted by Thomas Grilk, the Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association, meant to honor those injured during the bombings at the Boston Marathon this April. Despite the great challenges that these two famed marathons have faced in the past year, the mood at this ceremony was undeniably positive. After a year of rebuilding post-Sandy, New York City is ready to host another marathon.

Also speaking at this event were Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan; Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley; Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO of New York Road Runners; Bill Rudin, who spoke on behalf of his family in accepting the Abebe Bikila Award for outstanding commitment and contributions to the sport of distance running; Cristin Burtis, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Citywide Events; Doug Blonsky, President of the Central Park Conservancy; and Dana Ripley, Head of Corporate Communications for ING US.

This Sunday, November 3, approximately 45,000 runners from all 50 states and 115 countries will make their way through the 26.2-mile course of the New York City Marathon. Participants will begin in Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, and continue through all five boroughs of the city, ending in Central Park. With leaves in parks across the city reaching their peak colors, and the weather forecast currently predicting balmy 55-degree temperatures (with a zero percent chance of precipitation), this marathon is shaping up to be a beautiful one.

Given that the city's parks are a - if not the - prominent feature of the NYC Marathon, I was curious to hear what connections the city's Parkies might have to it. I polled some of the newest members of the agency, the twenty-eight other fellows of our Conservation Corps. Here are a few of their responses.

Brittany Quale, in Planning and Parklands, absolutely loves marathons. She'll be cheering on family friend Sarah Beaulac at two different locations during her 26.2-mile run: at McCarren Park in Williamsburg, and at the finish line in Central Park. Stephen Hart, in the Office of the General Counsel, wishes his office colleague Sean Quealy luck in his race this Sunday. Sarah Cantatore, working with the ShapeUp Program, wants to wish her colleague Guerda Fontin good luck in the race as well. Yolkey Tait, in Commissioner White's office, will be in Sunset Park to see her friend Dexter Asido run the course. Marie Vulcain, in the Queens Recreation and Public Programming office, described her family's alternative marathon event, an in-house race that she describes as highly competitive and "somewhat pushy." And the author of this article would like to wish his relatives Regula, Peter, Daniel, and Martin Holenstein the best of luck this weekend. They have traveled from their home in Basel, Switzerland to race in the New York City Marathon. The family also flew over last year to run; they are looking forward to better weather this time around!

Submitted by Nathan Arnosti


“If you're going through hell, keep going."

Winston Churchill
(1874 - 1965)

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