The Holiday Marathons was born between running friends on a long run in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York. The Holiday Marathons’ mission is to stage community-supported running events that bring together new and experienced runners in the local community to showcase the community’s parks and promote the adoption of healthier habits on all major holidays.
The Holiday Marathons is now expanding its vision beyond Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Imagine a national movement where holidays mean healthier habits, being active and coming together for a run. We are always interested in talking with communities who share our vision.
The Holiday Marathons will never charge runners large fees. Our goal is to be supported by those interested in helping us celebrate running and good health. We are always interested in talking with individuals and other organizations who share our vision.
We hope you will join us in an upcoming run! Happy Holidays from all of us at The Holiday Marathons!
- The Holiday Marathons concept was born on a run between friends.
- The Holiday Marathons developed a ¼ marathon trail loop on the Putman Trail, OCA and cross-country trails in Van Cortlandt Park.
- The Thanksgiving Marathon, The Holiday Marathons first event, took place in Van Cortlandt Park.
- The Holiday Marathons applied for permits for and hosted 7 free races in Van Cortlandt Park.
- The Holiday Marathons developed ways to further support the community through donations to local organizations and running clubs, gift drives on Christmas and food drives on Thanksgiving.
- The Holiday Marathons events grew in popularity from around 200 per run to over 400.
- The Holiday Marathons only received 1 permit of 10 applied for through Parks.
- Holiday Marathons founders started the Save the Putnam Trail Campaign, requesting that the Parks Department not pave the historic Putnam Trail inside Van Cortlandt Park.
- The Van Cortlandt Park Administrator, Margot Perron, called The Holiday Marathons founders in for a meeting to discuss the future of The Holiday Marathons runs.
- Parks claimed not to have received previous permit applications and voiced many concerns.
- The Holiday Marathons has had an increasingly difficult time dealing with The New York City Parks Department.
- Parks started to pay more attention to The Holiday Marathons runs and the organization as a whole came under scrutiny.
- The Holiday Marathons continued to grow in popularity through its online following and at events.
- Receiving approval for permits can take months. Approval for the Second Annual Thanksgiving Marathon was received the day before the event.
- Major changes are required at the last minute. A call was received the night before the Thanksgiving Marathon stating an alternative course was required.
- Parks held The Holiday Marathons to new standards and had to work with both Bronx offices and Central Park offices to obtain permits.
- Multiple permits are now necessary to host the event and hand out free fruit and water.
- Expensive insurance naming additional parties is required.
- The organization must give all donations collected to recoup costs of its free events to a 501c3 organization to be considered a charitable event with affordable permit fees.
- $1000 trash and clean up deposits must be made.
- Parks staff must be onsite and the organization must pay their overtime salaries.
- Port-o-sans must be delivered and picked up the same day, despite the park having multiple bathrooms open and available.
- Spectators must be included in participant numbers used to calculate permit costs.
- Course marshals and medical units must be placed along the courses.
- The organization must submit a questionnaire, a safety plan and a production plan.
- Hosting an event requires an 18-page contract from Central Park offices.
- The Holiday Marathons received its first permit denial letter from Parks for the Second Annual Christmas race because, “the proposed event is of such a nature that it cannot reasonably be accommodated in that location.”
- New regulations and costs force The Holiday Marathons to look for alternative locations and review its business model.
- The Holiday Marathons will expand geographically and host its first run in Tibbets Brook Park on Christmas morning.
- The Holiday Marathons goal remains to benefit the community and showcase its beautiful public parks to new and experienced runners and to develop healthier habits on the holidays.
- The Holiday Marathon’s goal has always been to expand and have local running clubs host holiday races simultaneously in multiple communities across the country. Van Cortlandt Track Club is excited to host future holiday races in Van Cortlandt Park.
Please write us with questions or comments. Thank you for your support and happy running!