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And they’re off! New York Road Runners bringing weekly community jogs to Bay Ridge

Running wild: The New York Road Runners Open Runs that are already popular at meadows including Brooklyn Bridge and Marine parks are coming to Shore Road Park in Bay Ridge beginning May 12.
Brooklyn Paper
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Joining this run will be a walk in the park!

A city community running organization will debut its free weekly group runs — also open to walkers — in Shore Road Park in Bay Ridge beginning May 12. The New York Road Runners brought their Open Run program to the Ridge at the behest of energetic locals looking for friends to run with, according to the group’s vice president of youth and community runner engagement.

“We received numerous e-mails from Bay Ridge community members asking for New York Road Runners to bring an Open Run to their neighborhood, and we found that the size of the park and other factors made it ideal for a weekly run and walk,” said Michael Rodgers. “Ultimately, as is the case for many of our locations, the demand from the community was key to setting the process in motion.”

The weekly route will likely start at the comfort station at 79th Street and Shore Road, loop up to 74th Street on the path around the baseball field, and come back down towards 82nd Street — with three laps making 3.1 miles — but the course has not been finalized yet, Rodgers added.

The group also recruits volunteers to check runners in, watch their bags, direct them on the course, lead and time the runs, and post results — but the jaunts are not competitive, Rodgers said, since they’re open to people of all ages and circumstances, including those with strollers, young children, and dogs.

The chairwoman of Community Board 10’s parks committee said the lack of competition will foster community camaraderie, and that the weekly runs will offer a chance to take in the scenic shoreline and work up a sweat — at your own pace.

“We have a beautiful waterfront to run along, and wonderful people who all get along and help one another,” said June Johnson. “If you want to run or walk alone, that’s fine too. There’s no competition — you don’t have to be the fastest or the best.”

The Ridge Open Run will be the Road Runners’ 15th in the city and fifth in the borough. It debuted Open Runs in Marine and Canarise parks in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and also hosts them at Brooklyn Bridge Park and Highland Park, on the border of the distant borough of Queens. The Road Runners also stage the city’s beloved marathon — which also runs through Bay Ridge, up Fourth Avenue — every November.

Any runners or walkers who want to learn more about getting involved with the Open Run can attend a free informational meeting at the Bookmark Shoppe on Third Avenue on April 28 at 9 am, when locals can walk the course and enjoy refreshments.

New York Road Runners Open Run in Bay Ridge Informational Meeting at the Bookmark Shoppe (8415 Third Ave. between 84th and 85th streets, www.openrun.nyrr.org). April 28 at 9 am. Free. Runs in Shore Road Park (Comfort station at 79th Street and Shore Road). Saturdays beginning May 12 at 9 am. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 5:45 pm, July 9, 2018
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