Ridge Runners race to honor fallen hero

Ridge Runners race to honor fallen hero
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

It was a run to remember as athletes took to the streets to honor a fallen Ridgite on Sept. 16.

The annual Police Officer Chris Hoban Memorial Five-Mile Run stepped off in front of Xaverian High School for the 23rd time on Sunday, making its way from in front of the school on Shore Road between 71st Street and MacKay Place up to 69th Street, over to the waterfront bike path, down to the Verrazano Bridge, up to Third Avenue, and then back down Shore Road to Xaverian again.

According to Eddie Mayrose, the Catholic academy’s alumni director and one of the race’s 50-plus organizers, the event memorializes a class of 1980 grad who became a cop and died during a drug bust gone wrong in 1988.

“Because Chris Hoban was such an athlete, and such a strong member of his community, they decided to put together a run in his honor,” said Mayrose.

Mayrose said about 600 people ran on Sunday, and additional 400 registered — all of them contributing to a scholarship fund to pay half the tuition at Xaverian for the son of a New York City police officer.

The event also featured the Tina Hoban Hat Walk — named for Hoban’s late mother, who was unable to run in her twilight years and always wore a hat while participating — and the Kids Dash for the youngest runners.

Everyone stuck around for a party in Xaverian’s parking lot. Ridge band Head Over Heels and DJ Tommy Tunes provided music, while the participants enjoyed rides and food — all of it donated — and listened to the announcement of this year’s winners and awards.

For Mayrose, the event is about more than raising money: it’s about bringing the community together.

“It’s become more than a scholarship. The event has become a Bay Ridge institution,” Mayrose said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman