by Brendan Krise

 

Harlem NY- Each year during Harlem Week thousands of runners take to the 

streets to compete in a 5k race honoring the life of civil rights icon and

Harlem political leader Percy Sutton.

This year- on the 100th anniversary of Sutton's birth --the event will be forced

to go virtual do to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Road Runners

announced. Runners who want to participate in this year 5k- which also

honors longtime Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel  - can register for the

race starting Thursday.

Racer's can run the 5k any place of their choosing -The New York Road Runner

suggest is conductive to social distancing at any time during Harlem Week.

The annual celebrating of Harlem Week will take place virtually Aug 16 to 23

this year. 

Entrance fee for this year's 5k race has been eliminated, but the New York 

Road Runners will be accepting donations for the Support Harlem Now

Initiative. The community relief fund was launched by the Greater Harlem

Chamber of Commerece in partnership with neighborhood institutions

and community groups to support Harlrem residents and businesses 

through pandemic.  Percy Sutton rose to prominence as a lawyer for civil

rights activists such as Malcom X and Stokely Carmicheal during the 1950s

anf 60s

He later became an influential political figure in Harlem, establishing a

political bond known as the "Gang of Four" with former Mayor David

Dinkins, Congressman Charles Rangel and Basil Patterson. Sutton serve

as Manhattan Borough President through much of the 1970s evenually

running for Mayor in 1977 but losing to Ed Koch.