In the Guerrilla Midtown Games, an Artist Helps Athletes Reclaim Their City

The most recent installation of the Midtown Games, a guerrilla performance-art action that took the form of an unsanctioned 250 meter-relay race through Times Square, kicked off at approximately 10:02 am this morning. On the corner of 43rd Street, members of five informal relay teams raced one block each, handing off their color-coded batons to the next runner as bewildered tourists and policemen gawked.

The brainchild of artist Zefrey Throwell, who last month instigated “Ocularpation: Wall Street” — in which people got naked downtown — the Midtown Games was, said Throwell, “born as a way for New Yorkers to reclaim their city in a spirit of community and games.” Why midtown? Because, he continued, it is “the most avoided and despised neighborhood in all of Manhattan, at the confluence of massive tourism and corporate business.”

In all some 100 people, including racers, photographers, and videographers participated in the event, despite the attempt by one plainclothes policeman to stop the race, who warned, before it began, that anyone running through the streets would be arrested. No arrests were made. A number of the participants dedicated their run to Occupy Walls Street, the ongoing downtown protest.

Check out some photos of the Midtown Games below.