Photos: Runners hit Greenpoint streets for annual Get to the Point 5K race
More than 200 people temporarily shut down Greenpoint streets on Sunday for the 26th annual Get to the Point 5K race, which turns a friendly competition into a party for the community.
What started as a unique way to raise funds for St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy back in 1992 ended up a neighborhood tradition that rivals competitive races held by professional running clubs around the city.
“I like to think that here, a group of families, parents, volunteers can come together and I think we put a pretty good show on,” said Frank Carbone, director and co-founder of the race.
This year’s competition brought 224 runners down Driggs Avenue through McCarren Park, over to Kent Street and back across Manhattan Avenue before finishing at Humboldt Street and Driggs.
Sammy Gotts, 27, finished in first at 16 minutes and 43 seconds. Marie Barnett, 32, took home the trophy for the fastest female time, at 18 minutes and 14 seconds.
But while most events put the attention on the 5K, the St. Stan’s crew wanted about 85 children who participated in pre-race dashes to be the highlight of the show.
“Yes, the numbers are bigger on the 5K, but we want to feature the children because they’re the future runners,” Carbone said. “At some level, we want to inspire the kids to go on to bigger and better.”
Nine-year-old Anthony Puk helped fulfill that vision, participating in not only the 50-yard dash, but his first 5K run. The bystanders on the sidelines cheering him on helped lead him to the finish line, he said.
“Every time that I saw someone when there was a crowd, everybody was cheering for me because I was the first kid that they saw and they were probably impressed,” Puk said.
He finished the race in 26 minutes and 13 seconds, eight minutes and 35 seconds faster than his father.
NYPD Officer Jerry Seletski was working the event. In 1994, he graduated from St. Stan’s himself, and has run the race a couple of times in the past. He said the gathering showcases how the neighborhood has changed from an industrial hotspot to a residential haven.
“I lived here for 16 years and to come back now, I work here every day, and it just blows my mind the way this neighborhood’s changed,” he said.
For Carbone, that’s part of the importance of Get to the Point, to show the world what Greenpoint has to offer.
“For us, it means a lot that we can share,” Carbone said. “We like to look at it like showcasing the neighborhood. Like, ‘hey we got a lot of great stuff here, come to Greenpoint, come to St. Stan’s.’”
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