NY Road Runners’ Open Run expands to Pel Bay Park

NY Road Runners’ Open Run expands to Pel Bay Park|NY Road Runners’ Open Run expands to Pel Bay Park
Participants of the inaugural NYRR run/walk in Pelham Bay Park were eager to embark on their trek through NYC’s largest park!
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

A new program at NYC’s largest park is inspiring Bronxites to become more active this summer.

In a fitting tribute to the summer solstice, the New York Road Runners launched its latest free NYRR Open Run Program on Thursday, June 21 at Pelham Bay Park.

The weekly 5K walk/run is scheduled every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the park’s Sweetgum Playground located near the intersection of Wilkinson Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard.

The 2.5 mile course starts and finishes at Sweetgum Playground and passes by the historic Bronx Victory Memorial Monument.

Approximately 81 runners and walkers participated in the exciting community exercise.

Pelham Bay Park is the fourth Bronx park, which includes Crotona, Soundview and St. Mary’s parks, to host an NYRR Open Run.

It is the third and final NYRR Open Run expansion planned for 2018.

The park is the 16th site across the five boroughs to offer the program.

“When I saw this event I said to myself that I didn’t do anything, but work so I need to really do this for myself,” expressed Miriam Quinones, Bedford Park resident and NYRR Open Run participant. “It’s the cheapest form of physical therapy and you get to meet everyone, from the baby in the stroller to the person on a cane in a comfortable setting.”

Pelham Bay Park joins ten citywide parks to have NYRR Mile Markers installed by the end of the year.

The mileposts are designed to assist parkgoers with navigation, distance tracking, mapping their fitness progress and improving their health and wellness.

NYRR Open Run sites are led by community volunteers and are selected based upon local community members’ demand for programming, park size, infrastructure and perceived need as measured by NYC Parks’ Community Parks Initiative standards.

Held in coordination with Parks’ CPI, NYRR Open Run launched in June 2015 with St. Mary’s Park being its first site.

NYRR Open Run is a community-based, volunteer-led running initiative providing free weekly runs and walks to local neighborhood parks across all five boroughs.

The program welcomes participants of all ages and experience levels: walkers, strollers and dogs.

“Through the first three years of NYRR Open Run, we have witnessed firsthand the benefits and positive impact that offering free access to group runs and walks can have on members of communities,” shared Michael Rodgers, NYRR vice president of youth and community runner engagement.

Since its launch, NYRR Open Run has attracted over 37,000 finishers and 5,000 volunteers.

“Year round, our team is activating at parks in all corners of the city to help motivate and inspire people of all ages and abilities to get outside and stay active for life,” expressed Rachel Pratt, NYRR senior vice president of youth and community services.

Weekly 5K walks/runs are scheduled for St. Mary’s Park and Soundview Park on Saturdays at 9 a.m. and for Crotona Park on Sundays at 9 a.m.

Participants are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes before the run’s start and to leave their valuables at home.

Co-op City residents I. West (l) and Zakia Haywood registered for Pelham Bay Park’s Open Run.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

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