Featured image of the start line by Graham MacIndoe.

What do you want to talk about? Running of course. It is all I ever want to talk about. I feel bad for my girlfriend sometimes or people that are within an earshot of me if I cross paths with one of my friends that run. Sometimes you can’t choose your friends, but you can always choose the friends you run with. I prefer to run alone.

Image by Gretchen Connelie featuring Matthew Roberts and Adam Jacobs being photographed by Graham MacIndoe

Spring running has been pretty sick so far, March 24th, the 2018 OSR30 turned out to be more than I had hoped it would be. The first week of March, while finishing up my ‘OSR Silent Auction‘ work, I found myself getting very interested in pushing the OSR30 production level up a few notches. Honestly I was never a huge fan of producing the OSR30 as it usually costs me a pretty penny to put on, and requires a shit-ton of labor, but this year I decided to have fun with it. Coming off of 2 very successful events in which I partnered with Nike NYC (the 2018 OSR Shake-Out Run and the 2018 OSR10K), I approached Nike about pairing up for a 3rd event. I had ideas to grow the OSR30 a bit, but I needed some assistance in order to execute the vision. Thankfully everything came together, even the weather. The athletes put on stellar performances, course records and PRs were crushed. As an organizer I have been lucky, in that each year we have put on this race, something exceptional has happened. This year included. Check out the 2018 Overall Results, and distances may vary runner to runner FYI.

Image by Parker Feierbach featuring Travis Hawkins and Erik Reitinger approaching Check Point #2 escorted by 2016 Midnight Half Champ David Knowles.

In the 2018 OSR30 Travis Hawkins took the overall win in 2:57:23 after snatching the lead from 2016/2017 OSR30 Champ Erik Reitinger about 6 miles from the finish. Erik and Travis were shoulder to shoulder through most of the race, with Erik taking the lead after Travis had made a wrong turn, sending him off course briefly. It wasn’t until Travis made a surprise move by taking the Brooklyn Bridge to Check Point 7 that he took the lead. Taking the Brooklyn Bridge crossing, as opposed to the Manhattan Bridge, provided a shorter distance to run with the trade-off of having to navigate through a heavy tourist population along the bridge’s entire span. Team Travis Hawkins took complete advantage of the bike escort/runner relationship. Travis’ escort Andy Burton rode ahead clearing a path through the sea of pedestrians so he could rip across the bridge and gain some ground. At the time, I was escorting Erik over the (much less pedestrian-populated) Manhattan Bridge. When we hit the 7th check point (the stairs on the Brooklyn/pedestrian side of the Manhattan Bridge) we were caught completely off guard by Travis and Andy who were already about 45 seconds ahead of us and running down Sands St. headed towards Navy. This was a great moment in the race to witness first-hand. Shortly after this Travis got a surge of energy, courtesy of his two young children posted up at Brooklyn Roasting Company cheering “Go Papa” and holding up signs. From this point on Travis put distance between him and Erik and set a new course record. Travis was also the winner of the “Shortest Route” contest with a distance of 27.8mi.

Image of the 2017 OSR30 Women’s Champ Olivia O’Neil winning the 2018 Women’s race by George Grullon

Another amazing moment in the race was having the 2017 Women’s Champ Olivia O’Neil take the victory again! Last year Olivia was the only woman to line up at the start, a line made up of only 5 runners total. About 20 athletes had registered to race last year, with 12 dropping out the day of. An entire field of runners was wiped out by a dismal weather forecast featuring sub-freezing temperatures and winds in the 30 mph range. What a mother fucking badass. In my opinion, her attendance and performance last year was the reason the field was mostly women this year. How empowering. It gives me chills to think about it. So Olivia is now officially, “The Two-Time OSR30 Champion”, like Erik Reitinger. NOT ONLY THAT, she managed to PR the course by 45 min 01 seconds. WTF.

Image of Jordan O’Donoghue approaching Check Point 3 by Parker Feierbach

There are many stories that unfold for 25 runners over the course of 30 miles in Manhattan, I hope I get to hear them all. If you have one, send it to me and I will add to this post. We do our best to make sure the ‘race day’ experience is as good as it can be for all our athletes, and I am very fortunate to have a volunteer staff that supports that standard.

I had a vision early on, one where we do things the way we want to do them, with the runner’s experience as the priority. To create races that were exciting, and meant to draw on those feelings from childhood, playing tag at night, or hide and seek. That feeling of exhilaration, of chasing or of being chased. Something magical happens in this city at night, I feel that our races capture some of that magic.

Image of the start line coming together by Steven Tranter

There were many notable performances in this years race. Molly Shiroishi, who had a top ten finish, finished second for women in 3:51:29. She left all of it out on the course that day, all but collapsing at the finish. Jordan O’Donoghue finished 3rd overall in 3:10:54. Jordan then went on the Run the Boston Marathon in 2:44:47 AND the London Marathon in 2:43:08. Animale. OSR newcomer Kelly Chiusano finished a strong 3rd for women in 4:17:27, good for 14th overall.