The 2018 Five-Borough Series is complete!

Well, folks. Last Sunday’s Staten Island Half marks the last race in this year’s NYRR Five-Borough series. And Cheer Everywhere (somehow) made it to all of them!

Striking a pose at the Queens 10K

What’s the Five-Borough Series?

It’s group of five races that gives runners a taste of the outer boroughs: The NYC Half (which as of this year starts in Brooklyn and ends in Manhattan), the Queens 10K, the Bronx 10 Mile, the Brooklyn Half, and the Staten Island Half. If you run four of these races, or three of these races and a specific half marathon in Central Park, you are guaranteed entry into the NYC Half, whose spots are normally filled by time qualifiers, lottery winners, and charity registrants.

Let’s do a partial review of Cheer Everywhere’s first year of existence by taking a look back at all of these races!

You can view all the photos on my Flickr.

Fred Lebow Manhattan Half

This race is technically not part of the Five-Borough series, but you can use it for guaranteed entry into the NYC Half. It’s meaningful to me because it’s Cheer Everywhere’s first race in NYC!

The runners completed 2+ loops of Central Park on a cool January morning. We played music and cheered on the runners as they pushed their way up Harlem Hill. It was like any other half marathon – except approximately 10.2x more cheery!

NYC Half

This year’s NYC Half was a special one. The original course started in Central Park and ended with a trip down the West Side Highway into the Financial District. The new course started in Brooklyn and ended in Central Park. It’s a much harder course, without a doubt. It’s also analogous to the NYC Marathon in that it spans multiple boroughs and represents NYC better than a Manhattan-only race. We didn’t get to see the fun, new segments of the course, but we did get to cheer on the runners where they’d need it the most – the final miles in Central Park!

It was a super frigid morning. My toes were frozen near the end and I remember catching a pretty nasty cold. But that’s the risk you take when you’re cheering on superheroes!

Dan is definitely a superhero.

Brooklyn Half

Ah – the Brooklyn Half. This was one of the last races I cheered as a Brooklynite. I lived about a 15 minute walk from the cheer spot on Ocean Parkway, but it was so damn rainy I decided to catch a Lyft instead.

I mean hey – it was no Boston Marathon, but it was a soggy one! Runners made their way to Coney Island after knocking out some miles in and around Prospect Park. It definitely wasn’t a beach day, but it was the perfect day for cheers!

Queens 10K

The NYC Half was cold. The Brooklyn Half was wet. We haven’t covered hot yet, so it’s time to discuss the Queens 10K! It’s a summertime race that’s guaranteed to be a sweatfest. One of the benefits of cheering over running? Not having to leave that shady patch of road I found a little past the 4 mile mark.

This is the shortest of the 5 borough races, but short doesn’t mean easy! Especially when the sun is beating down like this.

But if it were easy, we’d have no reason to be out there. Running is hard, and that’s why we CHEER!

Bronx 10M

The Bronx 10M race was the most well-attended of the Five Borough races cheer-wise! We had Leslie, Banka, Chris, Ben, and Huy doing a mix of vuvu-blowing, sign-holding, bell-ringing, photo snapping, clapping, yelling, and serenading. Thanks to The Most Informal Running Club, Ever for bringing the fun!

We cheered on Mosholu Parkway. It was pretty quiet up there! Probably because it’s a bit of a walk from the 4 train station. I was testing out a new speaker that day and it died towards the end of our cheer sesh. The silence was deafening. Lesson? It’s not hard to turn a dead zone into a cheer zone. Just bring a portable speaker and a few friends! #NoDeadZones

Staten Island Half

And finally – the Staten Island Half! This was the day Huy and I discovered the joy of the SIM1C express bus from Manhattan to Staten Island. It shoots across the East River via the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel, down to Bay Ridge, and finally into Staten Island over the Verrazzano. It left us about a 10 minute walk from the 5K/Mile 8 hill!

Huy about to work his magic.

The weather was cool and comfortable for both cheerers AND runners! I broke out this classic sign to encourage the runners:

Just kidding, it looked like this:

Photo by Huy Duong

The runners looked happy despite climbing a very steep hill. I guess that’s the power of cheering!

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