Find out what makes Queens run.

A few hundred locals are expected to participate in the inaugural Corona Mile road race in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday, Aug. 11.

Presented by the nonprofit Queens Distance Runners, this friendly competition will follow a pre-measured loop that starts and ends at the Unisphere. Flat and with only one big turn, the course is specifically designed for fast times. It’s certified by U.S.A Track & Field, and it’s segmented with the Strava software, which provides users GPS service and statistics on distance, pace, heart rate, elevation, and comparison to other users.

The middle section takes runners past the Queens Zoo for some animal inspiration. Plus, cheering fans will be stationed between the ¾-mile mark and the finish line.

There are six categories and 42 age groups. Participants are asked to arrive at about 7:30 a.m. to receive all the race materials. Here’s the schedule:

  • Open Women at 8:30 a.m.
  • Open Men at 8:50 a.m.
  • Community Champions at 9:10 a.m.
  • Elite Women at 9:30 a.m.
  • Elite Men at 9:45 a.m.
  • Kids of Queens at 10 a.m. (Parents are allowed to accompany their children. They can even bring their little ones in strollers, but they’ll have to line up at the end of the pack.)

By invitation only, the Community Champions heat is for advocates who are particularly dedicated to improving the borough. They can run for free, and each one will be announced to the crowd right before the start.

The two Elite heats are also for invitees only. All others should sign up for the Open categories.

The “Bib Pickup,” a traditional pre-race registration when runners get their packets, will be at Benfaremo: The Lemon Ice King of Corona at 52-02 108th St. on Friday, Aug. 10, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Organizers will provide security for bags at 6 p.m. for those who want to do a “shake out” run to check out the loop before the race.

QDR Executive Director Kevin Montalvo promised a lot of mutual encouragement and positive spirit.

“Runners will finish their mile, then stay on the course all the way through the Kids of Queens,” he predicted. “The nature of the course will allow you to see the races unfold at multiple points. While the talent and speed of these racers will be on full display, these runners will be inspiring the final participants of the event whom will be watching carefully.”

Registration is $30 with free photo services.

Images: Queens Distance Runners


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