By KEN BELSON
The Coogan’s five-kilometer race, a fixture on the New York road running scene for more than a decade as it evolved into a neighborhood party in Washington Heights, may have run its course. Peter Walsh, who started the run 14 years ago, has decided to step aside, citing personal reasons and rising race costs.
New York Road Runners, the Armory Foundation or another organization could take it over, but so far there have been no takers, Walsh said. If no one steps forward, the race, held in early March, will disappear.
The Coogan’s Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K & Kids’ Races were started to help introduce children to the sport and promote safety in the neighborhood. Race day blossomed into a festive event, with music acts along the hilly course, which followed Fort Washington Avenue north from West 173rd Street to Fort Tryon Park, and back.
“I made a personal commitment for 14 years of getting up at 3 a.m. on race day,” said Walsh, an owner of Coogan’s restaurant on the corner of Broadway and West 169th Street, near the finish line of the race. “We made the streets safer in these 14 years.”