American history and fitness collide at annual fun run
We never thought we’d see the words “fun” and “run” associated with one of our nation’s founding fathers, but inSHAPE Fitness owner and head trainer, Kim Watkins, makes it happen once a year.
On July 11, Watkins led a group of runners on a historic 11-mile route up the middle of Manhattan, from near the southern tip into the northern heights. The run, named after Alexander Hamilton – the architect of the U.S. financial system, came just seven days after the celebration of Independence Day, and marks the anniversary of the legendary 1804 duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr, our nation’s third Vice President.
Although Hamilton would lose the duel and die the following day, his accomplishments in economic and political theory would live on, as would his memorials in New York City – many of which the fun run route incorporates.
The run began at Alexander Hamilton’s gravesite at Trinity Church on Wall Street, and continue past a number of notable sites, including Federal Hall, Nassau Street, Tribeca and Central Park. As runners pass the famed Metropolitan Museum of Art, they stopped briefly to pay tribute to the Alexander Hamilton statue before continuing on to the Hamilton Grange National Memorial near City College. Here, the run concluded at the location of Hamilton’s new “country” home at West 141st Street and Convent Avenue.
For nine years, Kim has hosted this memorial run along this distinctive route, and in 2004 was introduced to members of the Hamilton family who’ve come to expect her presence.
“I‘ve always enjoyed July 4th, so I wanted to do something that would continue the celebration of our Founding Fathers beyond just one day,” Watkins said.
Tell us: Have you ever combined fitness and history? Please share! Then revisit our story on Central Park Fitness Tours, which also touches on history while you sweat.
See photo from the run, courtesy of Watkins.