Binghamton, this Sunday, finally joined "the big time": sort of.
The first annual Greater Binghamton Bridge Run was a great success (although a bit wet). Several people working for my employer participated as runners/walkers, and my manager, among others, volunteered.
My manager couldn't believe how many runners came from out of town. One even came from the United Kingdom. Not too shabby for a first time half marathon in a city of about 47,000. people.
I heard nothing but good things from coworkers who volunteered. In fact, the races were so popular that registration had to be cut off early.
I hope the runners enjoyed the flowering trees, although several days before there would have been a better selection to look at. (yes, I know, they aren't sightseeing and probably didn't even notice.)
My one complaint was that, in the original literature I saw, there was nothing mentioned about the 5K being a walk or run. I can not run far (other than not being in shape for running, my arthritic knee would more or less rule running out) but I can easily do a 5K walk. I wouldn't be winning any walking race but, if my back cooperates, I can do 4 miles in about 1 hour, 15 minutes (it used to be faster before my back and knee issues.) I've participated in measured mile competitions, but never a 5K. I would have signed up for the walk. Oh well, there is always next year.
I've walked enough of the route either at lunchtime, or after work. Some of the streets this was held on were streets I've taken photos of flowering trees on, and posted, in the last month.
Which, actually, brings up a question.
My spouse overheard a conversation between two men living in one of the neighborhoods the runners ran through. One mentioned that his street was closed for about 1/2 hour, he wasn't able to get home, and wasn't too happy about it. It got me to thinking: many of those streets are in purely residential neighborhoods. What if someone had a medical emergency? Was there any contingency for this?
What do other cities do? Do cities like Boston or NYC have a way to handle this? I'd be curious to know.
I am putting this on my calendar for next year.
I hope some of the runners from out of town liked what they saw, and will tell others that we are more than a burnt out industrial town.