We've been running in New York City a long time, around 12-13 years. Sometimes it feels like we've run on every block in the city. (Until we detour on a never been on block on the east side of Manhattan as we did just recently!) We joke we could "run around Central Park blindfolded" (yet to try, but sure we could).
We know gazillions of run routes around the city, and speak in strange code only other NYC runners would understand: BK to WSH to CP...WB to LIC over 59th...PP to Waterfront. But after all those years, running around New York does not get boring. On the contrary -- we still feel that excitement and love for our great city at least once a week on a morning run. Here we used the Strava online route builder platform to map out some of our favorite NYC running routes (and check out OnlyAtoms gear on Strava's Facebook page here & here) .
(1) Central Park's Bridle Path & Inner Running Paths:
Everyone knows Central Park is the NYC running mecca. Most just stick to the 10K road loop (hey, can't get lost...), but the interior paths and "bridle path" are not only beautiful, but they give you a nice variety of terrain and soft trails. Running these paths also gives you the more nature-y part of the park, sometimes you forget you're in NYC. TIP: bring some flowers to pay tribute to Lennon at Strawberry Fields.
(2) The Best Run for Great Views of the Brooklyn Bridge:
Run or take the A train to Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn to run over the Manhattan Bridge. Don't forget your camera for this +4 mile jog! Be sure to run only on the pedestrian side of the bridge, not the side for the bikes. The bridge brings you to Chinatown where you could stop for some yummy dim sum...if not, make a left to head towards the pedestrian path of th Brooklyn Bridge. You can get back on the A train at High Street, or the 2/3 train at Clark Street. TIP: Go as early in the morning as you can to avoid the crowds and see the gorgeous sun over the Manhattan Bridge.
(3) Run through Brooklyn's Historic Park Slope & Prospect Park:
Take the subway to 4th Ave/Union Street, or any of the stops in Park Slope, and zig-zag through the streets to see some of the most beautiful homes and brownstones in Brooklyn. Run around the 'hood, grab some Gorilla Coffee or Cafe Regular du Nord, or keep running up to Prospect Park to run the 3.3 mile loop. TIP: go on a Saturday and end at Grand Army Plaza for one of the best farmer's markets in NYC.
(4) Manhattan Waterfront Path, West Side Highway & West Village
Start this run anywhere on the west side highway path (officially called the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway), with the most scenic sections spanning below 23rd street down to South Ferry. Run back up above Spring street and head into the West Village to see one of Manhattan's most beautiful neighborhood. Weave through the smaller streets for the best scenery. End with coffee or brunch at one of the many cafes and coffee shops in the West Village. (We hear there's even a West Village coffee shop with its own running group?!?)
(5) Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Promenade & Jehovah's Hill
We run here All. The. Time. The views from the Brooklyn waterfront of the NYC skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge make this is one of the best runs in New York, not to be missed. You can do a quick couple mile run, or run to DUMBO, Cobble Hill or Red Hook for 4-8 miles. We like to do our speed work running back and forth on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and hill repeats up and down Jehovah’s Hill (hey, we didn’t name it). For more fun and exercise, ride down to the park to the start and end on a Citibike, there are a few stations over there.
(BONUS): One of the most unique NYC runs is Runstreet's NYC Street Art Run where the surprise route takes you to see beautiful art, more details here.
Are you coming to New York City for one of the big NYRR races, the Brooklyn Half or NYC Half Marathon? If so, ping us here -- we'll take you out on a run and grab some drinks afterwards!