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Spirit Renewed for 2012

May 1, 2012
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On April 29, 2012,for the second year in a row, the Highland Park Neighborhood won the Neighborhood Spirit Contest held during the Unity Health System Rochester Flower City Challenge Half Marathon .  Starting at around  8 am on a Sunday,  residents came out on South Goodman to cheer the runners as they made their way through our neighborhood.  After the race, participants were asked to complete a survey, indicating which neighborhood that they had run through displayed the most spirit and energy during the race.  Based on 758 responses, the Highland Park Neighborhood placed first  with the  Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood coming in a very spirited second.

According to Ellen Brenner,  one of the organizers of the Unity Flower City Challenge,and VP of Fleet Feet Sports/Yellow Jacket Racing:

Runners loved the balloons, the energy, the fact that the whole family from children to grandma and grandpa came out on Goodman in the Highland Park Area. We even heard one person say they had to stop their conversation because the energy and cheering was so incredible.

As a result of the contest, the Highland Park Neighborhood Association also won  another $750 for a neighborhood beautification project.  This year the board of the association voted to apply those funds to the June 2012 BoulevART Street Art project.

Here are some comments  (along with a few minutes of video) from event participants:

The Highland Park Neighborhood was amazing! 2 whole blocks lined with people cheering, making noise, and handing out water. They definitely raised my spirits just before the hardest part of the race. It felt like a finish before the finish line!

There just seemed to be an enlightening vibe running through this area, Everyone was so encouraging which was especially appreciated climbing up that hill!

It was the best part of the race. Nearly all the neighborhood came out, cheered us on, had decorations (including balloons, signs, noise makers) and were just full of encouragement. They truly were the best part of the race. I would look forward to this next year.

There were so many people out, music blasting. It was extremely motivating and inspiring to run through there! Seemed like running through a big party!

Everyone was so enthusiastic and upbeat…it was a real pleasure entering Highland Park because of the residents of this neighborhood.  They had posters, music, and just a general enthusiasm which really helped motivate me to keep running.

The small kids with glasses of water were really inspiring and fun to watch during the run.

Goodman was lines with so many people in this zone, it felt like a parade!! This was the only place I was very aware of the excitement of the people watching.

There were many people in this neighborhood who seemed to be truly excited to have a bunch of runners go through their neighborhood early in the morning. Many families were out shouting words of encouragement as everyone ran up the first hill. I was very impressed by the enthusiasm of the neighborhood.

The energy, the signs, the music, the crowd. They were creative. They understood they were on a hill. They had the most people. It was fantastic and just what I needed.

This neighborhood had not only the largest and loudest crowd, but they also decorated the this section of the course with lilac colored balloons. They provided great amount of motivation to make it up that darn hill.

The crowds lined the streets. Balloons filled the air. Children were blowing bubbles everywhere.  I thought I was the main attraction in the “parade.” Just the encouragement need to tackle the hill.. thank you.

That hill on Goodman Street was a surprise for this out of towner and very tough.  What got me through it was the amount of people from Highland Park who really rooted for us as we ran up it.  I credit them with me not stopping.  They were far and above the most spirited and it was very appreciated!  Thanks to them!

There were so many people out and cheering,from the young to the old. Made me feel like it would be a great neighborhood to live in…

Several HPNA Photographers were also out in force.  Matt Carnevale captured hundreds of shots in an album that can be found here.  Below is my slideshow as well

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Come 2013,  be assured that this Neighborhood will be ready to go for  a three-peat!

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