Team Coast Guard at the 2011 New York City Marathon

Monday, November 14, 2011

NEW YORK -- Thousands of runners participating in the New York City Marathon stream out of Coast Guard Sector New York, located on Fort Wadsworth National Recreation Area, and onto Interstate 78 in preparation for the 26-mile race, November 6, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Robert Laura.

Coast Guard Sector New York – And there off!

The New York City Marathon is the quintessential event of the New York Road Runners Club.  Without a doubt, one of the world’s great road races drawing more than 47,000 runners including world-class professional athletes from around the world since 1970.  Working along side multiple federal and local law enforcement agencies; the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary provided safety and security for the event on the grounds of Sector New York at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, around the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and the immediate waterways.  Runners began to gather at “Zero Dark Thirty” (before sunrise) at Coast Guard Sector New York and migrated toward the bridge to the starting point of the race.

 

Article by Auxiliarists Gerard Andrews and Sherry Kisver

 

Our mission began with breakfast in the Sector New York galley and a security briefing held by Chief Michael DiTrani of the Coast Guard Police Department who has been in charge of the event at Sector New York since 1997.  The room was filled with members of the Auxiliary, Sector NY active duty and reserve personnel, cadets from the Coast Guard Academy, and the Coast Guard Police Department.

Auxiliarists at post race debriefing outside the Sector New York galley. Photo Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Chief DiTrani’s message was clear, “take your post and hold the line” and be “Semper Gumby” (meaning always flexible).  Teamwork is important, we have a system in place that works; maintain your situational awareness and report any suspicious activity.  Our job is to maintain the integrity of restricted areas, provide safety and security of Coast Guard personnel and property, he detailed.

Under the Leadership of Auxiliarist Sherry Kisver, Jack Lund, and Michael Garone, approximately 50 Auxiliarists manned posts around Coast Guard property, serving as force multipliers, allowing law enforcement teams to focus on their core responsibilities.

This event attracts runners from around the globe; while patrolling the grounds Auxiliarist photographer Charles Calderon observed and spoke with participants from France, Italy, Chile, Scandinavia, and China.  All were friendly, anxious to get the race underway, very fond of New York City and have run race for many years.  Some runners predicted they would complete the 26 mile race in less than 3 hours; dedicated professional runners indeed.

The race is divided into three separate waves and each starts with our National Anthem.  As the wave gets underway, you can see and feel the intensity of crowd.  With the firing of a Howitzer, the runners take their emotions to a higher level; all are very focused and determined to reach the corrals and starting line.  Those who didn’t have time to check their personal belonging with United Parcel Service to be delivered to the finish line will resort to abandoning them along the roadways.  Most discarded materials such as clothing are gathered and donated to local charity organizations.

Auxiliarists Steven Gries, Cindy Leslie, Gal Tal, Gerard Andrews, Edmund Cheng, and Charles Calderon outside Sector New York. Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The event was complete with Coast Guard and NYPD helicopters over-head providing security from above.  The weather was very cooperative, clear skies, low temp of about 36 degrees before race time and climbed to 55 degrees by the time event concluded.  The mission was a great success, Chief DiTrani held a short debriefing after the race, took note of any significant events that occurred and asked for some suggestions on how to improve the performance for 2012.

An outstanding job by Team Coast Guard.

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