inwood hill runners

running past

The impetus for Inwood Hill Runners came when a town hall meeting adjourned without addressing runners’ concerns for safety.  Inwood resident Tamara Ewoldt called out to runners in the room to congregate.   Emails and phone numbers were exchanged and soon a small organized group of runners  headed back to the woods of Inwood Hill Park, along with the stick-wielding ladies walking groups. 

The ground that was sown with a sorrowful seed has since produced a scrappy and resilient organization of local runners.  This group has been a training ground for new runners, a recovery aid for marathoners, an escape for the mentally exhausted, and the source of new friendships.  Even the most independent of runners have discovered that it’s okay to be part of a group.

In the 1990s long time Inwood residents Edgar Fernandez and Waleska Viera organized over a hundred neighborhood youths into a local running club called the City Runners.  “We empowered kids to take charge and live a healthy life through running”.  Cofounders Ed Rabasa and Manny Natal were instrumental in logistics and support.  In addition to participation in sport the City Runners were involved in character-building community projects. With the help of Michael Wilson, they helped clear tons of debris from along the trails of Inwood Hill Park and the Dyckman Marina area.  From 1994 to 1999 Edgar and the City Runners organized the Shorockapock 5k race through Inwood Hill Park.

Edgar, Waleska, Ed and Manny continue to be involved in organized running programs and plan events with Pan American Running.

Through the years organizations like the Central Park Track Club have trained at the Columbia Track on 218th Street.  Other athletes train independently in Inwood Hill Park and nearby Fort Tryon Park, Van Cortlandt Park and the Greenway. 

Check out Runnin’ Around Uptown to follow Amy’s own running adventures around Inwood.  Okay she swims too.   And bikes.  And plays soccer.  And coaches.  And...

During the rise of running as sport in the 1980s a club formed called the Inwood Runners.  These athletes recognized the unique training opportunities available in the hilly terrain of the area.  The Inwood Runners organized the challenging Last Stop 5k/10k race, named for the A train’s end of the line at 207th Street.

On May 19, 2004, a young woman jogging through Inwood Hill Park was taken down by a murderer in the woods.  She was out running during the middle of the day in the middle of the week in a lovely park.

Crime has been no stranger to Inwood but the strangulation of Sarah Fox shook the neighborhood.  And the independent women who routinely ran the woods and trained on the hill were grounded because while it tragically happened to Sarah, it could have been any one of us. 

In a submission to New York Civic former Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern, who grew up in Inwood, proposed safety measures but none of his ideas were implemented.  After the mounted police left Inwood Hill Park a subtle quiet uncertainty remained among park users. 

in Inwood

Sarah Fox, Inwood resident, Julliard student, runner

Our grass roots

    Home                Group Runs                Routes                Running Past                Photos                Chatter                contact