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On March 24th, 2012 the Red Hook Criterium took a major step forward by attracting 4000 spectators and 350 athletes to the beautiful Red Hook waterfront. The race for the first time included a 5 km running race bringing together the typically divergent running and cycling communities. The cycling criterium was won for the third consecutive year by former bike messenger Daniel Chabanov in a dramatic race long breakaway.
The inaugural men’s 5 km race was captured by Ethiopian Mengsti Nebsi over local star Jon Phillips. The most exciting race of the night was the women’s 5 km with Moroccan Malika Mejoub edging out Ethopian Bekelech Bedada in a sprint finish. 16 official sponsors and 15 local partners contributed support increasing the RHC’s presence as an important global cultural event.
Competitors and fans traveled to the event from 10 foreign countries. Artists designed light installations and projections that lined the course creating a dramatic visual backdrop. Food vendors, entertainment, and a local pop-up store provided a festival atmosphere.