Race to feature runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, including NYRR Run for the Future graduates and NYRR Striders seniors program participants

New York, August 5, 2021 – In partnership with the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, New York Road Runners will host the Harlem 5K Run on Saturday, August 14 to honor the life and contributions of Mayor David Dinkins. Dinkins served as the Mayor of New York City from 1990 to 1993 and was the first African American to hold the position.

The Harlem 5K Run is expected to have 5,000 finishers and will take place on the second weekend of HARLEM WEEK, an annual celebration of the best of Harlem taking place this year from August 8-15.

In partnership with the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, New York Road Runners is looking forward to honoring the life and contributions of Mayor David Dinkins at our annual Harlem 5K Run and Walk,” said Ted Metellus, Vice President of Events for NYRR and Race Director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “This annual event encapsulates the spirit and energy of Harlem, and this year’s event will serve as a truly memorable celebration for the thousands of runners and walkers participating.”

Among the participants in the Harlem 5K will be graduates of this summer’s NYRR Run for the Future program, running their first-ever 5K. NYRR Run for the Future, celebrating its 10th year, is a free seven-week program for high school girls that introduces them to the benefits of running. Participants are also provided lessons in self-care, goal setting and wellness, and those who maintain an 80 percent attendance rate during practice sessions and participate in the 5K race receive a $500 wellness grant to be used to invest in their personal health and self-care needs. 

The event will also mark the in-person return of NYRR Striders for the first time since the pandemic began with a 1.5-mile walk in Harlem. NYRR Striders is a free walking and fitness program that offers physical activity and wellness resources for older adults looking to get active, stay fit, or improve their health. During the pandemic, NYRR continued to keep nearly 150 Striders participants engaged through its Striders at Home virtual activity platform.

Following the adult run and walk, kids ages 2 to 11 will participate in short dashes as part of the Rising New York Road Runners at the Harlem 5K.

For those unable to participate in-person, the Virtual Harlem 5K Honoring Mayor David Dinkins Powered by Strava will run from August 7-15. Runners around the world can sign up to run the 5K from anywhere in the world at their own convenience.

Additionally to mark the 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon this year, during HARLEM WEEK, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce will name the section of the marathon course that runs through Harlem the Percy Sutton Harlem Miles. Sutton, a prominent Black political, social, cultural, and business leader in NYC, was the city’s longest-serving Manhattan Borough President (1966-1977) who promoted Harlem’s economic development, co-founded HARLEM WEEK and helped make the first five-borough New York City Marathon possible. Sutton used to stand on 135th Street during the marathon as runners came by and cheered them on. Today, the Percy Sutton Harlem Miles is typically a large entertainment zone with music and gospel singers.

“As Manhattan Borough President, it was Percy Sutton’s idea to take the New York City race out of Central Park and run it through all five boroughs of New York City, thereby making it the world’s first marathon to traverse a city,” said Sutton’s granddaughter, Keisha Sutton-James. “Each year, the stretch of Fifth Avenue from the Madison Avenue Bridge down through Harlem was the biggest party with the most energizing music and the liveliest crowd. Renaming this same stretch after Percy Sutton is a wonderful way to honor not only his legacy in Harlem, but his role in creating an iconic world event.”