The Wall Street runners
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The Wall Street runners

For New Yorkers 'wait' is like the f-word, but in recent weeks they've had to display uncharacteristic patience.

First there was the disruption when the Republican convention came to town. Then, in the week beginning September 20, a triple whammy of events closed down streets uptown and downtown. President George W Bush was in town for the UN meetings and electioneering as was senator John Kerry, his opponent in the imminent election. Then, on the 23rd all of downtown Manhattan was brought to a standstill.

Another political event? Thankfully, this time, no; it was the Wall Street run on behalf of the American Heart Association. In all 3,973 people ran 5km on one of the last hot, humid evenings of the year — that's 3.1 miles for you imperial types. It started near Merrill Lynch's headquarters and wound its way through the financial district.

The winner was Matthew Dipretore, a 26-year old Merrill Lynch employee, who finished in 15 minutes 58 seconds. Merrill, the major financial sponsor, had a good evening: employees Diane Kenna and Diane Zaccardi were the second and third women finishers and Merrill was also the top team finisher, with Standard & Poor's second and Lehman Brothers in third place.

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