On my way to work this morning, I came across something rather odd. A little past 11 a.m. at the corner of Lafayette and Bleecker, a group of 50-ish people were setting up a footrace in between two traffic lights. They waited until one light turned red, made the cross-walk at one side their starting line, and ran through a hastily pulled ribbon at the other cross-walk to finish. There were pictures. And applause. And a lot of people standing around going, “What the f*ck?”
It turns out that this was the second annual New York “footrace” for Zynga’s mobile employees, during which they traverse a single block. I caught up with racer Alwin Ventura, an associate producer, at the finish line.
“Isn’t this kind of dangerous?” I asked. “Oh yeah,” he said, wiping the sweat from his brow.
Lead developer Jeremy Parker joined us and took over the interview. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture the race itself, but did manage to catch the racers’ reactions on video below.