Bay Ridge welcomes back its annual Half Marathon on Saturday, Oct. 2. According to Michael Kasper, Trimara Sports president and the local marathon executive director, more than 400 adults have registered for the event. The race was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
The competition kicks off at 9 a.m. at the foot of Bay Ridge Avenue and the Shore Road Promenade at the American Veterans Memorial Pier. The runners continue along the promenade for about 3.25 miles, then return along the promenade to the starting point at the pier for the first loop. Then they start the second loop and return to cross the finish line at the pier.
Entry fees for the race range from $50 to $60. Each runner receives a T-shirt and is eligible for a finisher medal. Plaques are awarded to the winners in each age category. With the New York City Marathon coming up in November, some runners join the half marathon here to check their time and forms.
* * *
The corner of Bay Ridge Avenue and Shore Road has been renamed for Dominick Della Rocca, a famous Brooklynite and civic leader who owned and operated Della Rocca’s Pier 69 Restaurant.
I have fond memories of this really great American, a World War II Army veteran who devoted much of his life to helping children with special needs. I was happy to play a small role as a member of the Ragamuffin Parade Committee when I nominated him for grand marshal in 1985. Marie McDonald was Ragamuffin president that year and Rosemarie O’Keefe was the “Woman of the Year.” Councilmember Justin Brannan says he marched in the parade and had his picture taken with Della Rocca.
Up until he died, Della Rocca served as the chief mayor, president and CEO of the Community Mayors organization. The post is now held by his daughter Shelly, who, along with his son Peter, helped unveil the street sign for “Dominick Della Rocca Way.”
* * *
The 77th annual New York City Columbus Day Parade will take place at 12 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 11 from 44th to 72nd Street. Organizers are calling it the “world’s largest celebration of Italian American heritage and culture in the United States.” Michael Pascucci is the grand marshal.