Running in Green-Wood Cemetery, but for one day only - KMSP-TV

Running in Green-Wood Cemetery, but for one day only

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Generally we subscribe to the notion that if you find yourself running in a graveyard something has gone terribly wrong. But for six hours Friday, we buried that theory and joined joggers at Brooklyn's historic Green-Wood cemetery.

"It's glorious, yeah. The views over the water," one runner told us. "You can see downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty."

At 175 years old, Green-Wood normally forbids running. But it briefly opened its gates to those athletes displaced from Prospect Park by the president's visit.

"We felt like it was the neighborly thing to do since so many Brooklynites are training for the marathon," said Chelsea Dowell, the manager of programs and membership. "It's a real treasure trove of New York City and American history."

The chance to pitter patter past Samuel Morse, weave around the inventor of the sewing machine, and climb the tallest point in Brooklyn to toss a tired nod at Minerva waving at Liberty, waving back at the goddess, proved too good for a handful of those joggers to pass up.

"It's really, really beautiful and I'm sorry I never came and walked around before," said another runner.

But with more than half a million graves on nearly 500 acres, runners stand little chance of recognizing any of this history. After all, it's tough to pick out Bill the Butcher when you're running right by him.

"I don't know where they are," a runner said. "This place is humongous."

Indeed.

We found Leonard Bernstein's modest plot, Boss Tweed's gated final resting place, and Currier with Ives nowhere in sight.

But somewhere out there we knew of abolitionists and Roosevelts, 5,000 Civil War vets and one owner of the Dodgers, who eluded us.

"It's really hard to see it all," Dowell said.

Whether future marathoners couldn't find notorious graves or preferred not to nearly two centuries of Seldens, Grants, Hammonds, Fitz-Geralds, Kerrs, and Palmers provided runners with the largest audience they'd see until race day.

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