More than 5,000 people took to Central Park Sunday morning to take part in the 4-mile Race to Deliver. The run is organized by New York Road Runners and the nonprofit God’s Love We Deliver, which gives out free meals for those in need.
"We cook and home deliver individually tailored meals for people who are so sick that they can't shop or cook for themselves," Karen Pearl, president & CEO of God’s Love We Deliver, said.
The race kicks off Thanksgiving season for the group, where they’ll be giving away thousands of traditional holiday meals.
"Between now and Thursday, we’re going to be cooking and preparing 12,000 beautiful Thanksgiving meals," Pearl said.
The race, which took place along East Drive in the park, featured a mix of people from serious runners, to people passionate about the cause, to others just looking to get back into running.
"It’s the first race we’ve done in 12 years," Bob Dally, who was running with his daughter Karen, said.
The event is one of the group’s largest fundraisers, raising about $350,000 each year. And for many, it’s a chance to get in some exercise before the Thanksgiving holiday.
"All walks of life are here. Many who have participated in this very event for many years, so its their opportunity to celebrate their kick-off to Thanksgiving week and burn off some calories before we get our grub on on Thursday," Ted Metellus, race director at New York Road Runners, said.
Matt Grossman was the first to cross the finish line near the 72nd Street Transverse with a time slightly over 20 minutes. Katherine Harrison was the first woman to cross the line at just under 24 minutes. And Pierce Lydon was the first nonbinary person to cross with a time just over 25 minutes.