Sept 9th the date of the 3rd Annual 9/11 Memorial Run. The run was started by PJ Marcel. PJ started the run to honor his promise of NEVER forgetting his friend, Richie Pearlman Richie was a volunteer EMT. On 9/11, this incredibly brave 18 year old, saw what was happening and ran to the World Trade Center to help. Richie perished in the collapse trying to save complete strangers.
This run is amazing. Truly amazing! Despite the rain 450-500 people showed they would NEVER FORGET and made their way over to the Aquaduct Racetrack in Queens. (last year’s event drew 2,500!! so the rain def had an impact on attendance ) When I got there, it was obvious a lot of planning went into the event! After my extremely quick and efficient sign in, I made my way over to the well organized vendor space. There they had a stage with some bands jamming out tunes, a bunch of vendors and some awesome food options! I made my way over to see my friends at Hard Rider . Per usual, the Hard Rider crew was on point… they had their awesome mobile showroom and a huge tarp covering the area in front! Way to kill it, Frank!!! Hard Rider also sponsored free donuts from Sugar and Water , a bakery in Astoria, Queens. These things were AMAZING!! Not gonna lie, I had a few!!! After a very impressive and emotional opening ceremony, the bikes were lining up. There were at least 20 fire trucks, ambulances and cop bikes to lead the procession….hell they even had police helicopter flying over head!! As we pulled out of the parking lot there were plenty of folks lined up on the road despite the rain waving flags, clapping and giving thumbs up! Heck once we hit the city we saw a woman who had to be at least 85 years old hanging out her apartment window clapping and waving – I think we made her day. She sure as hell made mine!
My favorite part of the ride is coming up the West side highway and rolling past Ground Zero . It’s pretty intense. The tourist there got a real eye full and as the bikes rolled past and we got more clapping and waving from everyone. The ride snaked though the city and back to the Aquaduct for more of the same!
I REALLY hope next the weather cooperates. I would love to see this run hit 5,000 riders and continue long into the future. Coming home from work on 9/11 my wife asked me if I thought they would eventually stop reading the names at the WTC on the 9/11….. I’ll tell you right now not if PJ has anything to do with it! NEVER FORGET!
See some pix below – courtesy of my main man Mad Stork!!!!
and a killer YouTube vid