Why run when you could walk? That seems to be question guiding this fall’s newest athletic not-quite-feat: The New York Sorta Marathon. Organized by comedian and former Greenpointer Zach Broussard, the Sorta Marathon is the first short marathon. Instead of 26.2 miles, the length of a traditional marathon, the race clocks in at just .2 miles.
Broussard explores some hard truths about marathons in his YouTube promo video for the event, including this rock-hard reality: 26.2 miles is way too long for most people. Designed to be a race anyone can finish, the event’s Kickstarter page exalts, “finally, a marathon FOR THE PEOPLE.” Broussard knows that not all of us have the time or the ability to train for a traditional race, but that we all face challenges personally or globally. So, how can we feel good? Skip the running and go straight to the runner’s-high! He told me, “lots of our online experience is watching people brag about things that are sometimes out of our own reach. So I thought it would be fun to create an event that allowed literally anyone the chance to brag about some crazy accomplishment.”
Bragging rights are one thing, but what about swag?!?! With each successive level of donation to the race on Kickstarter, you can take home various merch including an official Sorta Marathon bumper sticker (“.2 Short Marathoners Finish Quicker”), race bib, T-Shirt and Metal. For the highest level of donation, $150, you can even have a professional photographer snap a photo of you winning the race, but just $20 gets you registered to run.
The event is tentatively scheduled for November 12th in McCarren Park, pending permits from the City. That’s where the kickstarter funds come in: with money raised, Broussard will hire “experienced event producers” to ensure race day is all gain, no pain.
I asked Broussard how he chose McCarren park for this great show of athletic prowess, and he put it down to a love a Greenpoint. “I lived just above Simon’s Hardware [1032 Manhattan Ave] in Manhattan Avenue not so long ago. It’s my favorite neighborhood in New York City. Greenpoint also strikes me as the type of neighborhood that might latch onto an idea this dumb.”
The race will take place rain or shine. Be there or be square, Greenpoint. It’s your time to shine.
The New York Sorta Marathon’s Kickstarter campaign ends on Friday, 9/22. You can fund the project here.