inspiration     Mar 24 2016

Run This Town

Anna Vander Zwaag
Mapos Designer

I run New York City. In fact, I run it almost every day, varying my daily routes to discover new corners of the city. Living here for 8 years, in 3 different neighborhoods, I’ve been able to cover a lot of ground in that time.

I developed a new appreciation for the beauty of the city when I was training for the marathon a few years ago. Some of my training runs were so long that I would circle most of Manhattan, from the brownstones of the Upper West side through the new construction in Hudson Yards, along the river path through Battery Park, under the three bridges and up along the east river. There are so many running routes to be found in this city- none of which are short on magnificent architecture, art, and infrastructure to keep you entertained along the way (which is helpful in the middle of a three hour run- trust me). My routes (at least, as many as I can recall) are documented in the diagram here:

Last weekend, I completed my third NYC Half Marathon. As I ran I found myself thinking about what a uniquely New York experience the race is. It’s hard not to appreciate the beauty of this city as you are running through it. The distinct benefits of running one of these road races is that thanks to street closures, racers are given the opportunity to run through the streets of Manhattan without the burden of traffic. The half marathon route loops central park and the proceeds down 7th avenue straight through times square, and then cuts right and continues south on west side highway, through battery park, and ends around Wall street. A word of warning: do not attempt this route on your own. Believe me when I tell you that the only remotely pleasant way to experience Times Square is when the streets are completely closed off to traffic and pedestrians. It is worth signing up for the half marathon just for that experience. The running path along west side highway always makes for a great run, but it was pretty amazing running down the middle of the highway with a view of the amazing architecture along the Hudson that wasn’t obstructed by passing trucks and taxis. In an effort to capture the experience of taking over the streets of Manhattan, I documented the best sights from the race below- It’s not a perfect depiction of the experience, but at least it isn’t accompanied by sore knees and tight hamstrings!

NYC Half Marathon 2016

Next Up: Conquering Brooklyn! I switched boroughs this past fall, and Mapos made the move earlier this month. Since then, I have been busy running through new neighborhoods, parks, and bridges (Note: make sure you are on the pedestrian path and not the bike path. Cyclist’s don’t take kindly to runners taking over their turf!).  In May I’ll be running my first Brooklyn half- if anyone can recommend a great training route, I’m taking suggestions!

Thank you, Mapos, for always providing me with beautiful bridges and sweeping river views to accompany me on my running commute home!