500 For the Fallen Relay, II: Van Cortlandt to Columbus Circle

Our comrades arrive around 12:30 today in Van Cortlandt Park–The Bronx! Organizers have been at it non-stop since 0900 Thursday.
Flags exchange hands…

We’re off to Manhattan! We know we HAVE to make it. A team is awaiting our arrival in Columbus Circle, including parents of a fallen soldier. Success is the ONLY option.

Straight down Broadway, from 242nd Street—“last stop for the 1 train”—to…

…225th Street, crossing the Harlem River. Leaving the mainland United States. Welcome to Manhattan island. (Bronx on right, Manhattan on left)

This is the bucolic northern arm of Manahatta, as the Lenape Indians said; areas of the island most tourists do not know… (I share these secrets with you, my kind readers)

Meet Bobby Asher and Karen. Asher is my Van Cortlandt Track Club teammate who is featured in the Meet a Bronxite special this week (interview forthcoming by Monday night).

Karen came down from western Massachusetts to run for the fallen.

It is around 90 degrees and humid. We stop briefly for salt, fluids and a quick pic.

The only way to truly enjoy the George Washington Bridge–the world’s busiest. That is The Palisades of New Jersey across the Hudson River.

Asher & I recording this moment for posterity.

Beneath the aging monster

Alongside the Hudson

Glancing back from whence we came…

President Ulysses S. Grant’s tomb

The famous Riverside Church–site of one of Rev. Martin Luther King’s most memorable sermons.

Running across campus at Columbia University.

It is very hot, I am very thirsty, but we push on; running for those who cannot.

Thanks to God for that ice cold fountain in Morningside Heights. Coldest, freshest water of all time!

We enter Central Park at 100th Street. About 2 miles to go!

We made it! Another relay team is waiting and we pass off the flags, kind off. Some Of our team, including our Bronxite Asher, keep on going! (he would put in a total of 33 miles) And they’re off to New Jersey…

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