Iconic City Runs

I seem to have inadvertently started a tradition of running 10 mile runs with someone in big cities, in iconic places. In Chicago I ran the lake shore path with Brian Swem. In Pittsburgh I ran the riverside trail with Emily. And the weekend of Steph’s birthday trip to NYC I woke up early on Sunday and ran Central Park with Paul Swem!

I awoke early, something I rarely do, doubly so on vacation. I took advantage of what the Yotel called a continental breakfast (muffins and coffee). I drank the coffee black, standing on the sidewalk of 10th Av, waiting for Paul to arrive.

When I had arrived on Friday night, I texted Brian, floating the idea of catching up with his dad for my planned 10 mile run in Central Park on Sunday morning, stephanie’s birthday weekend concession to my insanity (and the resulting quest to run a sub 2 hour half in 2 weeks.) Swem’s enthusiastic response was that if I didn’t get I n touch with his dad, he would!

So that’s how I found myself, 2 blocks from Times Square at 7:30 in the morning, nursing a cup of coffee and trying to stand far enough away from the entrance to escape the morning’s crop of smokers getting in their daybreak fix. Or maybe last night’s last fix. It is New York after all.

We ran along the West Side bike path, and talked as we ran. About the dangers of running injuries, the temptation of running in Central Park, and the lure of New York City. Our route to the path and up to 59th street covered almost exactly 2 miles, meaning that a loop of Central Park Drive, at 6 miles, and the route home would give us a nice round 10 miles.

I hadn’t wanted to chance my forerunner 305 to checked baggage and we were traveling light so I was sporting a Garmin 210 I had picked up at the REI garage sale rack for an amazing $35. Stephanie uses it on occasions where she runs, but otherwise it gets the distinction of being a kind of backup watch for me. Sadly some kind of problem struck when I went to upload the run, so today’s gps picture is courtesy of Paul.

Because I thought it was neat to see these ‘iconic’ runs (I missed my chance to run the Mall; maybe next time I’m in DC?) from overhead shots, I grabbed some photos of my GPS course and collected them here.

Since 10 miles makes a good long run for a vacation weekend, and it’s a great excuse to seek out good spots to run, I think I’m going to start collecting these images of 10 milers in cities, and keep them for a special page.

Chicago Lakeshore 10 Miler - GPS Track

Chicago Lakeshore 10 Miler

Central Park 10 Miler GPS Track

Central Park 10 Miler

Pittsburgh Riverside 10 Miler GPS Track

Pittsburgh Riverside 10 Miler

The Central park run didn’t disappoint. I may have grown up in NYC, but the Bronx is practically a lifetime away from Central Park when you’re 8. My only memories of Central Park are from trips into the city in highschool, either to take photographs in the park, or to go to museums or shows. Seeing Central Park from the perspective of one of the many thousands of runners circling that 6 mile loop was really memorable.


2 responses to “Iconic City Runs

  1. Cool run! It seems wrong that I grew up in Northern NJ and I have never run in Central Park. I need to do something about that…

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