(Environmentally sustainable medal crafted out of bamboo by Pleasant Valley Sign Shop. Photo by David Rocco.)
The Walkway Marathon in Partnership with Dutchess County Government
First—what an incredible day! With the help of many determined volunteers, sponsors and athletes, the inaugural Walkway Marathon was a great success. Staff and partners arrived on-site, many before the sun rose on the Hudson River, and the day began with a buzz of energy and a bit of uncertainty. As everyone held their breath and crossed their fingers for good weather. Thankfully, the weather held and athletes began to arrive at Marist College’s Historic Cornell Boathouse. Smiles were abounding as old friends reunited, families showered encouragement, and athletes prepared themselves for the task at hand. Skeery Jones from the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, and JWill from 96.1 Kiss FM’s afternoon made sure to wake everyone up and lighten early-morning dispositions. A few words of encouragement from Commissioner of New York State Parks Rose Harvey, County Executive Marc Molinaro, Dutchess Tourism President Mary Kay Vrba, Walkway Executive Director Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart, and Marathon Coordinator Susanne O’Neil boomed over the speaker as participants lined up. We could feel the excitement rising—a tree fallen on the course caused a slight 15 minute delay but was quickly cleared—the sound of a train whistle filled the waterfront and the athletes began their race.