This run is a walk in the park!
The running enthusiasts at New York Road Runners hold free community running in Marine Park and Canarsie Park every weekend, bringing people in the nabe closer together as they lap the parks.
“They run, walk, volunteer and truly become a family,” said Michael Rodgers, the vice president of youth and community runner engagement at the organization.
New York Road Runners started in 1958 to promote running as a way to increase health and happiness. The organization also raises money for charitable causes, such as the recovery effort following Hurricane Sandy, according to the organization’s website.
The group began holding so-called “open runs” in Marine Park in 2015 and in Canarsie Park in 2016, and also holds similar runs in the other boroughs. The other open runs in Brooklyn are in Highland Park on the border with Queens and in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Between 15 and 45 people usually show up to the Canarsie run, while the Marine Park one can host 40 to 80 runners each week, according to Rodgers.
“Marine Park is definitely one of our most popular locations,” he said.
Local volunteers staff each of the runs. They time the runners, watch their bags, and direct them on the course, according to New York Road Runners’ website.
Carol Mendez of Marine Park says she takes part in the open runs because of the supportive atmosphere.
“It’s very encouraging,” she said. “Even if you don’t want to run, are not feeling feel, and instead walk, they still cheer you on. You feel like you still accomplished something.”
New York Road Runners chose the Marine Park and Canarsie locations due to local demand and a desire to improve parks in growing communities, but the group aims to provide runs for people in all boroughs, Rodgers said.
“NYRR is committed to creating touch points across all five boroughs to encourage all New Yorkers to get out and get moving,” he said. “Regardless of which neighborhood they live or work in.”
New York Road Runners Open Run (openr