42nd Great Manhattan Bridge Walk, 2/25/17
by Walter Wright
Thanks for making the 42nd Great Manhattan Bridge Walk such a successful walk. We set a record for participation, with 57 people signed in at the start, plus a few people who joined along the way. The record crowd was undoubtedly due to the weather. People were eager to celebrate the unseasonably warm day, even though there was rain forecast for the late afternoon. It was particularly satisfying for me to see a such a big crowd, because this was to be my last walk as the hike leader.
At the start I introduced co-leader Jack Shi -- I was happy to report Jack is taking over the leadership of this walk starting in June. And I introduced Dave Hogarty -- a Shorewalker board member who, so fortunately for me and Jack, had stepped forward last summer to start providing support for the Bridge Walk. On this walk, Jack would lead the "fast" group of about 24 walkers, Dave would lead the regular group of about 32, and I was going to do only very limited walking.
After the back and forth on the GW bridge, the groups led by Jack and Dave proceeded to the Henry Hudson and the Broadway Bridges, where the first few people dropped out. Jack's group reached the McDonald's after the 3rd Avenue Bridge just 20 minutes before Dave's group arrived; some walkers shifted from one group to the other, but Jack left with roughly 15 people and Dave with about about 10. (The extent of my walk was a short-cut directly from the starting point to the University Heights Bridge, where I met Dave's walkers, and then stopping just before reaching the Washington Bridge.)
The participants encountered heavy rain and wind in the late afternoon, and many people dropped out. But the intrepid leaders, with some persistent followers, continued. The remnants of the two groups caught up to each other as they crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to finish the walk at about 8:30PM. In total, there were 9 who walked from start to finish:
Dave, Richard, Marina, Robin, and Stephanie Jack + 3 others.
Congratulations to all of those who participated, and especially to all who walked all 17 bridges regardless of the rain!
Angela, a friend of finisher Stephanie, should also be recognized even though she wasn't signed in. She joined after the first two bridges, but she had a good excuse for being late, having run a 4 mile Road Runners' race first thing in the morning! She did walk over all of the final 15 bridges. We hope Angela returns for more walks with Shorewalkers.
It has been a pleasure leading these walks since 2003, and I hope to join many future Great Manhattan Bridge Walks as a participant.