The Inaugural Corona Mile Race


Last Thursday morning I received an email by Kevin Montalvo Founder of Queens Distance Runners (QDR) to notify me that on behalf of QDR, he wanted to honor me at their Inaugural Corona Mile as a “Community Champion” for leading the way in the work we have done in Corona and Queens abroad.

Paired with the fact that I have been wanting to participate in a QDR event for the longest time and looking for opportunities that allow me to prove that Queenscapes practices what we preach as a community organization that promotes healthy lifestyle initiatives, this was a no-brainer for me to accept. So I agreed be a part of the race, and was excited for the chance to actually run with the folks of the world’s greatest borough for the first official race I have ever run.

Also, I figured it’s only a one mile race, how difficult could it really be? Even though, saying that I’m a little out of shape is a huge understatement, even I had to be able to pull this off.

Plus I had a little extra motivation as I had my colleagues and close friends, Ashley Dean, the Founder of the Queens Hip Hop Festival and Ruben Ramales, Managing Director of American Institute of Architects of Queens also selected as Community Champions of the Corona Mile as my racemates. To make things more interesting I made it a family affair by enlisting my sons Roman and Saul to join along with me.

The night before race day, I realized that the weather for the Corona Mile was not going to be agreeable. With thunderstorms predicted all morning, it wasn’t just getting wet that worried me, but also the safety of my two young children.

We played it by ear the next morning, and right after a real lengthy downpour, and a break in the rain, we rushed over to the Unisphere to be ready for the start of the race. Unfortunately, we did not beat the worse of the rain, and the prospect of the piece of cake run I envisioned this to be, was washed away in the deluge that ensued.

But we ran anyway with a bunch of other dedicated and brave runners, through the thunder and lightning and completed what we set out to accomplish, together.

Words by Adolfo Steve Vazquez Photo by Elitefeats