‘Sweatfest’ campaign aimed at reviving those New Year’s exercise resolutions

Michele Gordon (far left) leads a cardio workout at Reebok FitHub held last Friday. (Photo by Steve Jackson)

Michele Gordon (far left) leads a cardio workout at Reebok FitHub. (Photo by Steve Jackson)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A campaign by the Union Square Partnership to promote fitness during the winter months as well as the neighborhood’s gyms and fitness retailers was a surprising hit, with nearly 1,000 people signing up for the offered complimentary fitness classes and other freebies. The program ran for one week and ended last Monday.

“We were expecting about two to three hundred people to sign up,” said Kriss Casanova, Director of Economic Development at the Union Square Partnership. Instead, the Partnership said that Early Bird passes were gone within nine minutes when registration opened earlier in February. An additional 900 people signed up for passes to the free classes and events throughout last week. Casanova said that it got to the point where they had to turn people away because the events were so packed. Those who weren’t able to snag passes to any of the fitness events were able to participate in the social media giveaways, which included memberships and packages to various gyms and studios, including one prize that offered a bag of goodies from the Union Square Greenmarket and an annual membership to the 14th Street Y.

Although the park has offered free fitness classes outside during the warmer months, this new program got the many fitness studios and health-oriented businesses involved with free exercise classes, personal training sessions and complimentary gym membership packages at places like CrossFit Union Square, Core Pilates NYC, Crunch, Clay Health Club and Spa and others.

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Woman found dead in East River at 23rd Street

The East River by Stuyvesant Cove Park, pictured on a frigid day in late February (Photo by Edmund Dunn)

The East River by Stuyvesant Cove Park, pictured on a frigid day in late February (Photo by Edmund Dunn)

The body of a woman was found in the East River on Sunday afternoon at 23rd Street.

The so-far unidentified woman was described as black and in her 40s to 50s. She was found floating face down after police got a call at 2:40 p.m. about a body in the water 15-20 feet from the shore line. At that point the water was about five feet deep. Emergency responders pronounced her dead at the scene. There were no signs of trauma to her body but as of Monday afternoon police did not have information as to how she died. An investigation is ongoing.