At 7 a.m. June 20 at the new Macombs Dam Park, just south of the new Yankee Stadium, Yes the Bronx volunteers were setting up for the first road race to be run at the Joseph Yancey Track and the surrounding Legends Field ballfields. This Run for Your Life race had been in the making for months and would serve as part of Yes the Bronx’s Project Obesity initiative, to combat obesity and re-energize the borough. The time finally came to set up the balloons and banners we’d long waited to use. We may have been the only people there for the race that early, but we weren’t alone in the park. Dozens of children, teens, and adults were using the space to stretch, run, and even play soccer.
Then the runners started to arrive. More and more Bronxites and other New Yorkers eagerly lined up to get their bib number and enter the track to stretch and warm up. Once everyone was registered, the fun began. All of the runners crowded behind the starting line. “On your mark, get set, GO!” And they were off. Participants circled the track and then the Legend Field ballfields twice before returning to the track to pass the goalpost finish line. Participants could either run or walk the 5k. Once everyone had finished, the top three male and female athletes were awarded medals.
The top three finishers for the men were: 1.Jesus Zamuel; 2.Ismael Romero; and 3.John Palla.
The top three finishers for the women were: 1.Patricia Bravo; 2.Carmen Castillo; and 3.Diana Hernandez. All runners were awarded ribbons for completing the race, and the top open team (Herbalife) and youth team (Rabbits) received trophies. The race was a success, and the turnout was great. There were even National Guardsmen and National Guard military cadets from the country’s earliest unit, in the Revolutionary War! to direct the runners/walkers around the course.
Yes the Bronx would like to thank all of the sponsors—New York-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, the New York Army National Guard, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business’ Service-Learning Program for their support.