Race Buddy-ing at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K

On August 22, Harlem proudly hosted NYRR's annual Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run. A few members of Harlem Run were out there running the course while many other members formed a cheer station to give the runners lots of motivation as they made their way through the hilly and humid course. Everyone had a great time at the race, but HR's favorite 8-minute Pacer, JOE, had a particularly awesome time.

Joe was lucky enough to be a "Race Buddy" to a fellow runner on race day. Here is what he had to say about his experience.

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Meet Vanessa, a kick ass Student Athlete who just completed her first 5K at the Percy Sutton 5K! After training all summer she was ready to take on the very hilly and challenging 5K. Vanessa volunteers in her community of Harlem and is committed to a life of health and fitness. Through her work with the #RunForTheFuture initiative, she is earning a partial scholarship to a college of her choice!  Liz on the other side of her and I were able to serve as Race Buddies to help pace her along the way and give the extra motivation to push her over the humps when she needed it! Vanessa kicks butt!

This day was one of my proudest moments as a pacer and a leader in the Harlem Run community. After completing my first long distance race earlier this year, I truly got a sense of what an accomplishment it is to work so hard to even be able to participate in a race and finish it with flying colors. And that is what Vanessa did! When I met her she was shy and quiet and said she wanted to walk the majority of the race. And sure, we walked a little bit, but we ran most of the race, and with a little over 600 meters she sprinted her way to the finish line. The smile on her face as she saw the Harlem Run crew cheering her on was worth the price of admission! I thought to myself, this is why I joined Harlem Run. It is only fitting that we posed in our B-Boy stance standing tall after conquering the Percy Sutton 5K!