An overnight rain did not discourage more than 5,500 runners from crossing the finish line for the first annual New York Road Runner’s Fiesta 5 K on May 4.
Daniel Winn of Brooklyn came in first in the men’s division with a finish time of 14:28. The women’s division winner, Gadise Fita Megersa of Albuquerque, N.M., finished with a time of 17:03.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who finished 430th, was among the thousands of runners that participated in the first-ever TCS New York City Marathon qualifier held in New Jersey.
Carly Graham and Bryan Kamau, both of Hoboken, finished within the top 50 runners. Graham was fifth among women runners. Kamau was first Hudson County resident to cross the finish line.
Additionally, more than 1,000 kids took part in the Rising New York Road Runners youth races. Festivities were held throughout the day and culminated with a post-race festival.
One race among many
Jersey City teamed up with the New York Roadrunners earlier this year to host the Newport Fiesta 5K, and other year-round initiatives and races that are of no cost to city residents, in which runners of all ages can participate.
“Our growth into New Jersey provides the opportunity for New York Road Runners to reach the thousands of dedicated runners who regularly participate in our premier races as well as reach new and diverse audiences,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, when the agreement was announced in January.
The race, which was finalized during late 2018, was open to all runners. One attraction for participants that they ran in the shadow of New York City.
“I have actually run over in that area myself, and it is a spectacular view of the skyline along the course,” Capiraso said. “Looking over into the city there will be some post-race festivities. There will be some food trucks to make it a fun-family celebration.”
NYRR puts on more than 50 races throughout the year. In 2018, nearly 30,000 finishers of NYRR events were residents of New Jersey. Among those, nearly 40 percent live within a 10-mile radius of Jersey City.
In addition, NYRR intends to expand its flagship national youth program, Rising New York Road Runners, in New Jersey. Currently there are 20 New Jersey schools involved in the program.
NYRR took over a 5K race that was started in 2004 by Newport, LeFrak’s development organization.
NYRR partnered with the LeFrak organization, Newport Associates Development Company, and the city of Jersey City to organize the new race and to develop a strategic plan to engage the local community through health and fitness activities.
More activities planned
This will include year-round programs to serve residents of the city.
The race started and finished at Washington Street, just south of Newport Parkway.
A series of free youth races took place prior to the 5k. Festivities were held throughout the day and will culminate with a post-race festival.
“We’re proud to host the state’s first-ever New York City Marathon qualifier right here in Jersey City,” Mayor Fulop said. “Over the last several weeks, NYRR positively engaged our city, bringing together runners of all ages in active and healthy ways to build an even bigger running community. I hope we can eventually turn this into the largest 5K in the nation.”
For updates on this and other stories check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Al Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org