A Day at the Percy Sutton Harlem Miles: My Experience

by G.Keith Alexander

A Day at the Percy Sutton Harlem Miles: My Experience


A Day at the Percy Sutton Harlem Miles: My Experience

As I stand amidst the pulsating energy of the Percy Sutton Harlem Miles, part of the iconic New York City Marathon, I am reminded once again of the incredible spirit and history of Harlem. This isn’t just a marathon; it’s a celebration of endurance, community, and the vibrant soul of this neighborhood I call home.

The day unfolds with an electrifying buzz. I watch as enthusiastic supporters like Zoe and Wendy, fellow runners, join in not to cheer for specific individuals but to marvel at and be inspired by the collective determination of the participants. Their presence is a testament to the event’s power to unite and inspire.

The air is filled with shouts of encouragement, from Frankie and Fabreece’s lively cheers to the personal triumphs of runners like Ashley and Liz, whose achievements are celebrated with genuine joy. This is the essence of the Harlem Miles – a place where every step, every stride, is acknowledged and applauded.

Standing here, I can’t help but reflect on the rich history of this event. I recall the days when the Honorable Percy Sutton transformed this marathon into a five-borough journey, a decision that forever changed the landscape of this race. Alongside Dr. Bob Lee, another iconic voice of our community, we reminisce about the past, paying homage to WBLS radio legends like Frankie “Hollywood” Crocker who have shaped the narrative of this city.

Harlem is not just about the race; it’s about the people and their stories. Richard Cox, for example, welcomes the world to Harlem with his linguistic skills, while George Harrell’s dedication to arts and culture is a source of inspiration. Every individual here contributes to the tapestry that is Harlem.

My platform, HarlemAmerica Digital Network, stands as a testament to our commitment to narrating Harlem’s story. We aim to showcase every facet of this neighborhood – its businesses, its culture, its people. We strive to be the voice that invites the world to experience the charm and vibrancy of Harlem.

The event is also a showcase of Harlem’s economic and cultural vitality. The new Renaissance New York Harlem Hotel on 125th Street exemplifies the thriving business environment, while the International Taste of Harlem highlights our rich culinary scene. This marathon, as Tony Rogers of the Harlem Tourism Board rightly notes, is a catalyst for cultural exchange and economic growth.

Music and culture resonate throughout the day. The Jeff Foxx Band, with their soulful melodies, adds to the day’s enchantment, proving that Harlem is as much about rhythm and melody as it is about running. Phil Young’s performance underscores our commitment to bringing the best of jazz and blues to the community and beyond.

As the day progresses, I am filled with pride. The marathon is a metaphorical journey through Harlem’s essence, and as Marko Nobles from the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce highlights, it’s about feeling the energy of Harlem and carrying it through to the finish line.

In closing, The Percy Sutton Harlem Miles is a chapter in the ongoing story of Harlem, a story I’m honored to tell with HarlemAmerica Digital Network. It’s where the marathon meets the heart of our community, where each step is cheered, and where every runner carries a piece of Harlem with them as they push towards the finish line. Here, at the Harlem Miles, we run together—not just in the race, but in the marathon of life.

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