MOCA Spike 150: A Run for the Pig!
What a way to ring in the Year of Pig 🐷 with an epic half marathon (plus some) in downtown Manhattan on a chilling Feb morning! Nearly 100 runners from multiple Chinese running clubs around the New York metropolitan (Misty Mountain Runners, Newbee Running club, Trail Hoppers, Flying Fox , Bergen Runners and Run100871 club) warmed up to the invitation and inked their footprints through the streets of Union Square, Flatiron, Greenwich Village, Noho, Washington Square, Tribeca, Battery Park, Wall Street, Chinatown, Stuyvesant Town, Gramercy, Two Bridges, East Village, Lower East Side & Alphabet City.
To organize an event of this scale required meticulous and collaborative planning — from the inception of the idea to the route planning to event communications to recruiting group leaders who were tasked with familiarizing themselves with the routes so as to provide the best and safest running experience possible to participants while ensuring the Pig 🐷 route and their running groups remained in tact (good news: no one was lost)!! At the event, countless volunteers gave their time, resources and talents - they cheered, prepared and handed out snacks & water on the route, captured the memories from the day with pictures, videos and words and readied a post run celebration. Expect no less from the runners!! Their commadaire was second to none. Smiles, encouragements, high fives, fist pumps and cheers were freely and frequently traded. While equal parts sightseeing and challenge, this run kicked off something of tremendous historic and personal significance.
NYC is renowned for its fertile soil for the dreamers, the hard-workers and the gifted. For this reason, it remains as our immigrant nation’s immigrant capital. Yet little was known about our forefathers, the first Chinese’s experience, their contributions and toils in the land of the free and the home of the brave. While this year marks the 150th anniversary since the First Transcontinental Railroad was built, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of the contribution of Chinese men who were instrumental in building a key segment of the railroad. Instead, they were discriminated because of their race and perceived reticence. Their contributions were undocumented until recently. In effort to tell their stories (and really ours), the Museum of Chinese in Americas launched “MOCA Spike 150 - Running Forward with Our Stories”. (Spike refers the ceremonial metal spike that was nailed into the railroad to commemorate the completion of the project.). While our forefathers’ stories were never recorded and their effort, unrecognized, we have the privilege and opportunity to honor and give a voice to them. Equally important, we are at a crossroad of history to craft and own a narrative that is overdue!! In this spirit, we invite you to run forward with our stories. Look out for more MOCA Spike 150 events in 2019.
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2019 is the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. To commemorate the contribution of the Chinese laborer to this monumental railroad, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) has designated its 2019 TCS NYC Marathon event as MOCA Spike 150 – Running Forward With Our Stories！ We encourage everyone to participate through 1) our national relay and 2) a story a day which consists of 150 Chinese American personal stories. We hope you will continue to follow and support us. Go tell your story. Reflect on the past; root in the present and embrace the future. Let us add to the American history, making it fuller and richer.