When 35,000 athletes turn out on Nov. 7 to dash across five boroughs for the citys 35th annual marathon, one of them will also be running for East River Park on the Lower East Side as part of the second annual ING-sponsored Run for Something Better race within a race. (As if running 26.2 miles werent enough!)
Four professional female athletes will compete not only to win the marathon but also against each other to win money for their hometowns and for a city park in an ING-steered collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Whichever runner wins, her park receives the largest portion of the more than $100,000 donation. In addition to East River Park, runners will also be competing for Corporal Thompson Park in Staten Island, Keith L. Williams Park in Queens and Macombs Dam Park, in the Bronx.
Kenyan-born Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands will run for East River Park. Last year, the 30-year-old runner came in third in the marathon and won the first Run for Something Better race. The proceeds from her win went to McCarren Park in Brooklyn, which is already enjoying the benefits. ING contributed money to the parks $1 million renovation, which includes a synthetic turf soccer field and a rubber running track.
Australian Benita Johnson, Deena Kastor of the United States and Madai Perez of Mexico will be competing on behalf of the other three parks.
For more information on the marathon go to www.ingnycmarathon.org.