The Half-Marathon isn’t the only race happening on New York City’s streets this weekend. For those in the know, mid-March also means the return of Monster Track, an unsanctioned “alley cat” bike race through Manhattan. Monster Track has a storied history stretching back to at least the early 2000s, when it was first organized by a group of New York bike messengers. (This year’s race is the 24th installment.) It’s one of the nation’s most well-known alley cats; others include Minneapolis’ Stupor Bowl and Los Angeles' former Wolfpack Marathon Crash Race. Monster Track mimics the perils bike messengers encounter on the job, like traffic, potholes and pedestrians, to name a few. Instead of a fixed route, racers are given a series of checkpoints. Knowledge of the city’s streets and the quickest routes is essential. And if that wasn’t enough, the bikes are brakeless. Photographer Jose Alvarado was on scene to document the adrenaline-filled experience and meet some of the racers.