NEW YORK CITY– An estimated fifty-thousand people from seventy different countries ran through all five boroughs of New York City on Sunday, despite the fact that cars, trains, and buses exist. The misguided mob met at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island and didn’t stop running until they reached Central Park hours later. One witness, Eric Delman of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said, “I saw fifty-thousand white people chasing six or seven Ethiopians down Fourth Avenue. I was going to call the police, but I figured I would be putting them in even more danger if I did that.” Timothy Nealon, a life-long New Yorker, suspected that “it must be some kind of flash mob,” but admitted that he “doesn’t get the joke.” “I mean, they obviously wanted to get to Central Park for some reason,” he said, “but why didn’t they just take the Staten Island Ferry to get to Manhattan?”
“It wasn’t until I reached Mile 5 that someone in the crowd was nice enough to hold up a sign that read ‘You Can Take The F Train Two Blocks From Here,'” said German tourist Hans Von Eicher. “Up until then, I had no idea that this city had trains and taxis.” The man who held up the sign, forty-two-year-old Jeffrey Gray, insists that he’s not a hero. “I just felt so bad for these people,” he said. “Anyone in my position would have done the same thing.”
Or maybe not. According to witnesses, many people who were standing on the sidewalks were actually encouraging the runners to continue. “It was one of the cruelest things I’ve ever seen,” said Upper East Side resident Mike O’Dell. Like Gray before him, O’Dell held up a handmade sign that read: Buses & Trains Cost $2.50 Per Ride. “I had to do it,” said O’Dell. “I saw people holding up signs that read ‘Keep Going.’ I had been walking past an office supply store, so I decided to take matters into my own hands by creating a more helpful sign that would hep these poor people out.” Gray also refuses to label himself a “hero,” saying, “I felt like it was the least I could do.” Mayor DeBlasio said that he was proud of those like O’Dell and Gray. “Just like in the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, it was a beautiful example of residents helping out their fellow New Yorkers during a time of crisis,” he said.
Even so, questions remain as to why more people aren’t aware of New York’s mass transit system. “The MTA really needs to do a better job of promoting itself,” said Harlem resident Denise Cordell. “I know that buses and trains and taxis exist, but obviously, not everyone else does. Otherwise, why else would they do this to themselves?” Cordell told reporters that she was having a picnic in Central Park and “witnessed firsthand” how much pain the runners were in. “For whatever reason, they all eventually stopped running at a certain spot in the park,” she said. “Specifically, they stopped underneath this strange looking digital clock right across from where Tavern On The Green used to be.” Cordell said that shortly after the runners stopped at that designated spot, many of them began to vomit, which “totally ruined” her picnic. “That was when it dawned on me how sadistic this whole thing was,” she told reporters. “For them to run so far that they’re throwing up? And all because no one bothered to tell them about the transit system? In fact, I’ll bet that a lot of people who were cheering them on and encouraging them to keep on running use the transit system themselves.”
One woman who wishes that she had known about the transit system is Kera Grath, a tourist from Palm Springs, Florida. While staying in a hotel in Staten Island not far from where the runners started out, she started to jog next to one of the fifty-thousand runners at the foot of the Verrazano and asked one of them if they knew how to get to Central Park. “The woman kind of laughed and said, ‘I’m heading there right now. Follow me,'” she said. So I did.” Grath admitted that she didn’t see anything unusual about the fact that fifty-thousand people were running across the Verrazano. “I just assumed that that’s what every New Yorker does on the weekend. They go to Central Park,” she said. Grath also admitted that she had “no idea” that it was unnecessary to run through Brooklyn and Queens if she wanted to get to Central Park. “It wasn’t until I was on the 59th Street Bridge, headed into Manhattan, that I realized I had been in Queens ,” she told reporters. “I think it was around Mile 18 that I started to regret my decision of going to the park.” For the remainder of her vacation, Grath said that she wants to visit Rockefeller Center and see a Broadway show, but only if “some sort of mass transit system were to be put into place.” “Now I know why tourists stay in midtown and not Staten Island,” she added. Despite her mistake, Grath finished her 26.2 miles in three hours and five minutes, a fast enough time to qualify her to run 26.2 miles in Boston, another city that, like New York, has a secret mass transit system that very few people actually know about.