Locals among 30,000 runners in marathon’s return

November 9, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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This year’s TCS New York City Marathon was a special one.

Not only did the 26.2-mile course run through all five boroughs for the 50th year, but it was also a return after last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19.

An estimated 30,000 runners, a good number of them from southern Brooklyn, crossed the Verrazzano Bridge into Bay Ridge Nov. 7.

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Alessandra Taverna-Trani ran the race and called it an amazing experience.

“All I kept thinking was that whoever thinks NYC is dead is wrong,” she said. “New York City was alive yesterday. We live – and yesterday we ran – in the greatest city in the world.” 

Alessandra Taverna-Trani runs through Bay Ridge. Photos courtesy of Alessandra Taverna-Trani.

Ridge Runners, a local group that’s been around for more than five years, represented the neighborhood both as racers and supporters.

“I ran it and also grew up in Bay Ridge and have fond memories handing out water on Fourth Avenue to the marathoners,” said Kat Ioannou. “It was simply incredible to have the race back in our neighborhood and show the resiliency of New Yorkers, in particular Brooklynites.”

Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Ted General

Josh Pesin said that of all the neighborhoods he ran through yesterday, Bay Ridge had the biggest small-town feeling.

Spectators also enjoyed watching participants run along Fourth Avenue.

“So proud of our runners,” said Mother Suzanne Culhane of St. Philip’s Church. “I’m a Bay Ridge native and ran years ago. As an Episcopal priest now, I was pleased to provide a blessing of runners the night before.”

Local resident Elizabeth Donohue, who couldn’t run due to injury, said she hadn’t seen the neighborhood so alive since before the pandemic.

Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Ted General

“It felt like one giant party and it was really special to see so many friends train for months and then leave it all out on the course yesterday,” she said. “The Ridge Runners had about 20 members running the marathon and I organized our cheering section at 67th Street and Fourth Avenue.”

Photos courtesy of Alessandra Taverna-Trani.
Eagle Urban Media/photos by Arthur De Gaeta
Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Ted General
Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Ted General
Eagle Urban Media/photos by Arthur De Gaeta

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