Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Buzzing in NYC

This past weekend, I went for an exciting whirlwind trip in NYC! Arriving late Friday and leaving in the afternoon on Monday, time was short. It felt like I was one of those chinese bus tours that charge from landmark to landmark, stopping only long enough to take a picture.

Being in NYC, I was really excited to go running in one of the most famous playgrouds: Central Park. I woke up early on Saturday and slipped out of the room un-noticed. Proudly wearing the Canadian line of clothing for the 2008 games, I set out to explore the city. Thanks for the friendly concierge at my hotel, I was equipped with a jogging map that I actually didn't really follow, instead zigzagging all over the place, trying to take in all the sights in as little time as possible.

Knowing I would like to run at Central Park, I had picked a hotel on Park street near Central Park. When I got out, I realized that they closed down Park street for runners and bikers. How lucky can I get? The weather was perfect, sunny and warm but still comfortable. So I headed straight to Central Park, eager to get on my journey. To my surprise, the Garmin didn't take too long to synchronize as I stretched in the park in front of the Plaza hotel. I then ran across the pond and tried to get my bearings.
There are so many paths to choose from, all interconnected. It's amazing to be able to run in a parklike setting right smack in the middle of such a large city.
I noticed right away the arches and overpasses, made famous in so many movies. I also ran by the lake where the bow bridge is, how beautiful. I had images of all kinds of movies flashing through my head. This is a place with lots of shared history. I realized that there seemed to be some sort of event going on, so I asked one of the volunteers and he told me there was a NY Road Runners race starting soon.
How exciting! I later realized that with the size of this city, there was probably running events every week! In fact, next week will be the NYC Half Marathon!

Continuing my run, I came across the reservoir. How beautiful! Such a nice run by the water with the cityscape in the background. I love it!
After the reservoir, I headed south a bit and found myself doing some hill work at the great hill. I closed in on the south-west corner and headed back down to the laser pool rink.
How awesome is it for people living in NYC to have all these amenities in the middle of Manhattan, in a park setting!!
The park is full of little nooks and crannies where one can escape the city and feel totally disconnected. Gardens, lakes, forests, everything is on offer.
On my way back, I found an observatory/belvedere and some friendly runner, after seeing my attempt at a self picture, offered to take a picture that turned out beautiful!
On the way back, I found a few other famous landmarks: the boathouse, the bowbridge
and the beautiful Bethesda fountain.
After I went back to the city, I still felt strong, even if a bit tired so I decided to jump on the opportunity to run on Park avenue and kept going downtown. I ran under the Met building which I thought was awesome. I also got a few good self pics in the big city. I decided I wanted to do a half marathon distance (21.1km) so I doubled back when I hit my turnaround point. I'm not sure the Garmin reception was very accurate in the urban canyon sometimes giving me a pace of 12m/km and some other times 2m/km!!
I figure I covered most of the park and it gave me a really good sense of what was in Central Park and made me look like a pro when I went back with Alex the next day to show him the bow bridge and boathouse.
At over 2h15 total time, it was a long half marathon but I wasn't looking for speed. It's nice to run around and not worry about your speed or time but just take in the sights. I hope everyone didn't mind too much that I got a bit sweaty since it was a pretty hot day after all.

Overall, this was an awesome run. I think I will try to plan runs in all of my future trips, this was a fun and fast way to discover Central Park and a bit of the city.


  1. I lived in NYC for 5 years and did all of my running in Central Park. I miss my park a lot :( Thanks for the virtual tour!! From the looks of the runners in your photo I think you ran into the Club Champs race (which happened very recently, I think).

  2. I love to run in new cities and I hope to run in NYC and Central Park one day. Looks like you chose a great route! What a good way to start the day. Love the pics!

  3. I would love to run in Central Park, but what a great way to see the city. I find that now that I'm running, I see many new things even in Toronto that I never would have! Great tour! :)

  4. Sounds like a fun trip! I went to NYC only once like 20+ years ago for a short visit but I didn't get to see the park so I enjoyed the photos.