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JRunners Have Fun Running for the Bull

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 by in Musings | 0 comments

It was a blast, it was fun, it was different, it was interesting, it was a curious experiment that worked out beautifully, and had the eight participants practically demand a second edition – in somewhat better weather – as soon as possible.

It was called “The Running of the Bull Challenge & Half Marathon, Powered by JRunners,” and its course had the same start and end point, but the middle could be whatever you wanted, because the goal was the same: get to the Wall Street Bull, AKA Charging Bull, AKA Bowling Green Bull, first.

RBTrainMost of the group met in the early morning at the finish, took a train to the top of Manhattan, and met up with the rest of the crowd at Twin Donut, a store so RBTwinwarm and cozy, that the runners took their time getting out the door and back into the cold.

Once the door was open though, with the runners pouring out, there was no horn, or National Anthem, or race instructions from Peter Ciaccia. The group was just off and running.

Five of the pack went straight down Broadway, and three took the West Side. Those who took the 13.1-mile Broadway route each ran a minimum of 13.4 miles, due to snowbank dodging, street-crossing, traffic negotiating, route re-orienting, and running in circles at busy intersections. West Side runners put in anywhere from 13.7 to 13.9 miles, the longer routes probably due to being distracted by the gorgeously frozen Hudson River. All were granted 1-2 extra miles by their GPSes, because every system at the runners’ disposal absolutely lost their minds when they entered the Wall Street area.

Once the dust settled, and the timing recalibrated, and the Morningside/Washington Heights hills survived, and the knifing through several groups on walking tours enjoyed, and the thrill of running through empty Manhattan streets while getting smiles from coffee-nursers emerging from any of the 98 Starbucks stores lining Broadway relished, Joel Mandel emerged as the half-marathon champion and bull-reacher. He also had the curious distinction of having his GPS show that he finished somewhere in the East River. Dov Gertzulin was the first West Sider.

These are the results, and the road taken:RBFinish

Joel Mandel    1:33:35    Broadway
Dov Gertzulin    1:39:37    West Side
Matt Katz    1:40:17    West Side
Joel Sandel    1:40:57    Broadway
Adam Orlow    1:49:30    West Side
Martin Bodek    1:54:02    Broadway
Scott Smith    1:54:12    Broadway
Mandy Rosenberg    2:28:47    Broadway

The reasons the race was such an exciting and enjoyable experience can be pie-charted as follows: 17%, just a bunch of good-feeling runners looking to have a good time with good friends; 21%, Joel Mandel’s life-of-the-party energy; 62%, the concept and the course, which proved to be more interesting than anticipated. Mandy Rosenberg, our first female in, summed it up by saying it was “Way better than doing laps around Central Park!” That’s exactly it. It was totally different, and we’ll be doing it again. Please join us next time. It’ll be just as much fun, possibly even more. Promise.

Martin Bodek,
Beat Reporter,


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