Runners Defy a Rainstorm to Launch a New Brooklyn 5K

In Prospect Park, a corporate challenge run was a soggy but spirited exercise in team-building

About halfway through the race, this runner had a winning attitude (Photos by Steve Koepp)

Just minutes before start time, sheets of rain were lashing Brooklyn, with flash-flood warnings posted. But the organizers were determined to carry on with the first-ever Brooklyn Runs, a corporate-challenge 5K organized by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

The weather cooperated. Showers turned into a light spritz. When the starter’s horn went off at 5 p.m. on Thursday, 143 runners took off on a course around Prospect Park, some as part of company teams with matching T-shirts, others as individuals out for a bit of adventure on a week night.

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Members of the team from Downtown Music/Songtrust, including the women’s winner, Ashley Hofferber, front row left, with colleague Chinua Green

First across the finish line was Dawud Abdur-Rashid of Canarsie, a pre-med student, with a time of 19:05.33. He did not seem particularly taxed, turning around after the finish and running the loop in reverse as a cool-down exercise. “I enjoyed the rain as much as I could. I prefer rain over heat,” said Abdur-Rashid, who recently graduated from Manhattan College, where he ran on the cross-country and track-and-field teams.

The women’s winner was Brooklyn resident Ashley Hofferber, with a time of 24:16.71, who had just run the Chicago Marathon four days earlier. “Time-wise, it doesn’t take as long, but I’m tired,” she said. “I had a good pacer,” she added, pointing to her colleague, Chinua Green.

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Dawud Abdur-Rashid of Canarsie was the winner among male runners

Hofferber and Green were on a team of 14 co-workers from Downtown Music Publishing/Songtrust, based in Manhattan, who said they do a lot of team-building exercises. “Next week we’re doing yoga,” said Green. “Last month, we went to the Color Factory. We’ve had a softball team and a kickball team.” Two of their colleagues, Asia Smulders and Gab Roth, placed 2nd and 3rd among women competitors. (More results and photos will be available at the Brooklyn Runs website.)

Running just after a downpour, the competitors had the loop road all to themselves

Samara Karasyk, EVP and chief of staff for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, was a colorful presence at the finish line, cheering the runners as they crossed

Some competitors ran with bravado…

…while others expressed joy that their rainy slog was complete

After the race, the runners repaired to the LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park for an after-party. The Prospect Park Alliance was a partner in the event, while the principal sponsor was Just Energy, an alternative supplier of electricity and natural gas. Other sponsors of the run included Investors Bank, HSBC, National Grid, Mount Sinai Health System, and Con Edison. The Bridge was a media partner.