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Coogan's Salsa, Blues & Shamrocks Race Draws Thousands

By Carla Zanoni | March 7, 2011 8:16am | Updated on March 7, 2011 10:19am

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Despite the misty weather, thousands of runners took to the hills of Fort Tryon Park to participate in the 13th annual Coogan’s Salsa, Blues & Shamrocks 5K Race Sunday morning.

Music from 25 types of musical performers including gospel, bagpipes, merengue, klezmer, salsa and brass bands serenaded the estimated 7,000 runners along the route as Upper Manhattanites dressed in rain clothes and hats cheered.

Bado Worku Merdessa, a 22-year-old from the Bronx, took the men’s medal, running the 3.1-mile course in 14 minutes and 42 seconds.

Twenty-eight-year-old Leonara Petrina from Bayport, Long Island, won the women’s medal completing the run in 16:34.

Kids were winners too, receiving medals from firefighters and police officers after their decidedly shorter race of anywhere from 25 yards to a half-mile, depending on their age.