It was another beautiful morning for cross country running at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, the storied site of countless races over the decades. From the Flats to the trails of the back hills, hundreds of runners of all ages and abilities were up to the challenges at the Harry Murphy Cross Country Classic 5K.
The second of five NYRR cross country races taking place this fall, the race is named in honor of one of the founders of New York Road Runners and the co-founder of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Track Club. Van Cortlandt Park is one of the country’s best-known cross country venues. It’s been the site of regional and national championship races as well as countless local events.
The race started and finished on the Flats, next to Broadway at approximately 248th Street. Runners headed south and around the bottom of the Flats and then into the woods via the Cow Path and onto the back trail that skirts the renowned Cemetery Hill but is still a significant climb. It crosses over top of the Henry Hudson Parkway to the Back Hills loop, which also features some ups and downs, before recrossing the parkway and proceeding back down to the Flats and the finish.
The men’s winner, Thomas Young of Old Lyme, CT, finished in an excellent time of 15:19, which put him 32 seconds in front of the runner-up, Brandon Abasolo of Long Beach, NY. Jonevan Hornsby of Brooklyn, representing the Central Park Track Club New Balance (CPTC), finished third in 16:26.
On the women’s side, Andrea Bradshaw of CPTC was even more dominant than Young; she finished in 17:56, well over a minute in front of second-placer Lilia Britez (19:16) of the Bronx and West Side Runners. Leigh Gerson of Brooklyn took third in 19:18.
CPTC, Van Cortlandt Track Club, Dashing Whippets Running Team, Front Runners NY, and other clubs came out in their team colors in significant numbers.
Next on the NYRR cross country calendar is the Kurt Steiner Cross Country Classic, another 5K, coming up on Sunday, October 20. Kurt Steiner (1921−1993) was one of the founders of New York Road Runners and a competitive runner and race walker. He served for decades as an announcer at NYRR races, including the New York City Marathon.