Parkway charity run returns

The Clesse Run returns with folks sprinting down Pelham Parkway South in memory of the 49th Precinct officer and the World Trade Center attacks.
File Photo

Get out those running shoes. A charitable race is back after a one-year hiatus.

And it’ll be a year of firsts for the 12th annual 9-11 5K Run/Walk in Memory of Lt. Thomas Clesse on Saturday, Sept. 7th along Pelham Parkway.

The 49th Precinct Community Council, the lead organizer, found a first-time sponsor in Simone Development, owners of the Hutch Metro Center.

Funding was always the main challenge for the yearly contest, according to Detective Vic DiPierro of the precinct’s Community Affairs Unit.

“We just did it through the community council,” said DiPierro. “We scraped together what we had and made it happen.”

This time DiPierro reached out to Joe Kelleher, president of Simone Healthcare Real Estate.

“We worked closely with the precinct over the years to have a safe complex and a place where people can do business,” said Kelleher, expected to take part in the morning race. DiPierro will also speed down Pelham Parkway thoroughfare, though he admitted to being not much of a runner.

“That’s the one time in the year I get my jogging shoes on, go out there, and finish last,” joked DiPierro, who’ll be joined by his wife, son and fellow members of the 49th Precinct.

And for the first time in its history, proceeds raised from the Clesse Run will be donated to the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund.

It’s named after the Massachussets Institute of Technology police officer killed while pursuing Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

DiPierro saw this outreach as a thank you to Boston authorities for helping its New York officers during a crisis.

The event honors the memory of the 9/11 attacks and that of Thomas Clesse, a 30-year member with the Four-Nine Precinct who died of cancer unrelated to 9/11.

“The men who knew him on the job knew him as a tremendous guy,” said Joe Thompson, head of the 49th Precinct Community Council, who created the run in Clesse’s name.

Thompson is being assisted by retired Four-Nine Sgt. Thomas Bruen.

The Pelham Parkway Reconstruction Project forced the Four-Nine to postpone the race last year, citing safety issues.

“We didn’t want to tie up traffic anymore than it was,” said DiPierro.

Tickets run $20. Registration takes place from 9 am-10 am at the 49th Precinct at 2121 Eastchester Road., with runners lining up at Eastchester Road. and Pelham Pkwy North.

The race will shoot down Pelham Parkway North to White Plains Road, looping back to Eastchester Road.

There will be a separate race for kids 13 and under.

All will be treated to a race lunch, with male and female winners receiving dinner for two gift certificate courtesy of the F&J Pine Restaurant.

“It’s not about a run, it’s not about a race, it’s not about getting a trophy,” said DiPierro. “It’s about just participating in something that’s meaningful to a lot of people affected by tragedies.”

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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