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Reasons to Love Running in New York City

This highly-runnable city has a variety of events, routes, and resources that draw in an active community of runnersThere’s no place like New York City, especially if you’re a runner. Whether you’ve raced multiple marathons or you prefer a mellower pace, you’ll always have a new route to explore, a run club to meet up with, or an event to sign up for.

“Any kind of running experience you want to have, you can have here,” says Dave Hashim, a New York City–based photographer who recently completed the Perimeter Project, where he ran around the borders of all five boroughs.

For Caitlin Papageorge, president of North Brooklyn Runners, part of the city’s love affair with running stems from the way its citizens normally get around.

“New York is such a pedestrian city,” she says. “I think for that very reason, it sets New York up really well for a great running scene.”Ready to experience what New York has to offer? Here’s your quickest path to connection with the city’s broad and diverse running community.

Central Park: No trip to New York is complete without a jog through Central Park. Hashim recommends following the main paved path for a seven-mile loop, but make sure to lap the Harlem Meer, in the park’s northeast corner—it’s an often overlooked but especially beautiful area.

Hudson River Greenway: Stretching 12.5 miles from Battery Park all the way up to Inwood Hill Park at the northern tip of Manhattan, the Hudson River Greenway offers superb views of the Hudson River and nearby parks all along its length.

Roosevelt Island: Get off the beaten path with a four-mile run around Roosevelt Island in the East River. Both Hashim and Papageorge recommend it for its quiet atmosphere (there’s very little traffic), interesting architecture (like an abandoned smallpox hospital), and panoramic vistas of the Manhattan skyline.

McCarren Park Track: Brooklyn’s McCarren Park is a popular spot for runners thanks to its public track. Head here for a sprint workout or a warm-up lap before a longer run—just keep an eye out for obstacles like wayward soccer balls or the occasional ice cream cart cruising around in lane one.New Balance 5th Avenue Mile: The 5th Avenue Mile proves that short distances can attract stiff competition. Elite sprinters battle here each year, and the course itself is a star: Competitors race from 80th Street to 60th Street, passing distinguished institutions like the Frick Collection art museum.

United Airlines NYC Half: This 13.1-mile spring classic has become a destination race for good reason, providing a scenic tour of two boroughs packed with iconic landmarks. Join 25,000 racers on closed NYC streets, from a Brooklyn start, across the Manhattan Bridge, heading up through Times Square, to a home stretch in Central Park.

Al Gordon 4-Miler: This race takes place in Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park, and honors Al Gordon, a New Yorker who began running marathons in his 80s. While the distance is short, the course showcases the park’s beautiful scenery and includes some hilly terrain for an extra challenge. “I just love being there,” says Papageorge. “It’s underrated.”No More Lonely Runs: Looking for someone to run with? Take a tip from Mallory Kilmer, a seasoned marathoner who started this club to help runners of all experience levels find community in the sport. The beginner-friendly groups gather every Saturday morning.

Endorphins: This nationwide running group has a strong presence in New York City. While the group runs every Monday are a big draw, joining Endorphins also gets you access to online resources like Q&As with running coaches and physical therapists.

Asian Trail Mix: This club’s mission is twofold: Increase AAPI representation in running and get New Yorkers onto the dirt. If you’re itching for trails, join one of the club’s all-are-welcome group runs, which explore the wealth of wilderness areas just a short train ride outside the city.

Front Runners New York: Front Runners is where New York’s LGBTQ+ and running communities overlap, and the group creates a positive, inclusive atmosphere at its weekly Fun Runs. If you become a member, you can also join the group’s coached workouts and triathlon training sessions.

Almost Friday Run Club: Why not start the weekend a little early? Almost Friday is the group to do it with: this friendly club meets every Thursday morning on the Hudson River Greenway for a chill run by the water. It’s the perfect midweek pick-me-up.

New Balance Upper West Side: New Balance’s Upper West Side location—just a few strides from Central Park—will be your go-to spot for running shoes, gear, and advice. Key highlight: The store is equipped with a 3D foot scanner to help you get the perfect fit in your next pair of shoes.

(06/22/2024) Views: 183 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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