Bronx: Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center – Williamsbridge Road – Morris Park Zig-Zag for a Low Traffic, Well-lit Night Run

Here is another short run adjacent to the Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center. It is especially useful for those who have had a long day and are forced to run after dark. Basically, it is a zig-zag pattern in the neighborhood west of the Einstein/Jacoby campus that is bound to the north by Pelham Parkway South and to the south by Morris Park Ave. The western boundary is Williamsbridge Road and Eastchester Road is on the eastern side of the route.

This neighborhood is very safe and well-lit. To give you an idea of what to expect from the neighborhood, it is filled with single-family homes valued in the $500,000 to million dollar range. After rush hour, the streets are pretty quiet and your only real concern about running these streets is cross-traffic on the cross streets (Lydig, Neill, and Rheinlander Aves.).

While the streets on this route function almost like a private running route late at night, it is always advisable to run with night lights and reflectors. To give you an idea of what might be appropriate, we can look at what the Ragnar Relays always require for its night runners. They require at least three pieces of safety gear for night runs: headlamps, reflective vest/harness, and a tail light. (Great, inexpensive gear can be had from Amazon – especially for those of you who are Prime members see these links for options – headlamps | reflective vests/harness | tail light). Of course, all three of these items may be considered overkill for most, but I always like to run with at least a vest/harness and a tail light at night while running against traffic. But that’s just me. To each their own!

Screenshot 2017-08-22 23.56.24

Route Description:

(Run 8/14/17) This route starts outside the driveway of 1935 Eastchester Road near the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and Eastchester Road.

Head south to Morris Park Ave. and turn right. Follow Morris Park Ave. to Williambridge Road and make a right.

In about a half mile, you will reach Pelham Parkway South where you will turn right. At the end of the block you’ll make your first zig – a right on Yates Ave. What’s nice about this street and the one to the east of it is that there is a bike line painted into the road that you can run in or you can also opt to run on the sidewalk.

Head back down to Morris Park Ave. and zag to the left and left again on Hering Ave. On a side note, if you end up registering to vote in the Bronx, you’ll pass your polling station on the corner of Hering Ave. and Neill Ave. – P.S. 108. But for now, you’ll really want to continue up Hering until you hit Pelham Parkway South to zig to the right and come back down Tenbroeck Ave.

Take Tenbroeck Ave. back to Morris Park Ave. and zag to the left and left again onto Seminole Ave. Follow Seminole Ave. to Neill Ave., make a right and follow the road back to Pelham Parkway South.

Make a right on Pelham Parkway South and continue about a quarter mile to Eastchester Road and make a right. Follow Eastchester Road back to the starting point for a 3.65 mile run.

Make it a 5-miler! If you want to run further, tack on a full loop of the Einstein/Jacoby campus for another 1.35 miles.

From the starting point, continue south to Morris Park Ave. and make a right.

After about a quarter mile, make a right on Seminole Ave. and follow it around the campus to Pelham Parkway South and make another right.

Head to Eastchester Road and make a right and continue back to the starting point at the 1935 Eastchester Road driveway.

 

Mileage:

3.65 miles for the zig-zag route or 5 miles if you tack on the full Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center loop.

Elevation: 

Nothing too crazy. Varies from 22 to 89 feet with gradual inclines.

Hill Ratio:

0 hills for a ratio of 0.00.

CPMR: 

0.2. I had the one guy standing in front of his house this evening catching a smoke. Otherwise, I am sure future runs will bring this number down to zero.

%RNPS:

0.00. None of this course is within a half mile of a major freeway but it just barely qualifies on the Eastchester Road side.

Safe after dark?

Safe during the day and safe at night in terms of both traffic and crime.

Just don’t try to include Stillwell Ave. between Eastchester Road and Pelham Parkway South in this route to bring it to a full 4 miler. Curiously, the crime and traffic safety issues on this small pocket of street skyrocket compared to the rest of the neighborhood. Just ask the student who was propositioned by the man in the windowless van (160627_CampusAlert) or read up on the recent criminal activity on this street. Yes, that’s right, just a block from the 49th precinct!

Crowd Scene?

Not very crowded inside the neighborhood. A little bit of traffic on Williamsbridge Road as you run through the Williamsbridge business district.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms.

Points of Interest:

You’ll run past some interesting houses and through the length of the Williamsbridge business district where you might find you very next takeout meal experience.

Along with getting a round-trip view of the campus, you get a mini-tour of the fine establishments and institutions along Eastchester Road including the NYPD 49th Precinct, Apple Grocery, Dolphin Fitness, GiGi’s Pizza, Denigris Dominick (tombstones), Enterprise Rent-a-car, Good to Go, Tana Thai, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbucks.

Good for Groups:

Narrow sidewalks make this ideal for 2 up to 4 runners.

Safe from Cars:

Most of this route intersects with low traffic roads. You don’t cross any major roads but you do cross a few low-volume roads.

One caveat as you cross the four entrances to the Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center campus – watch out at the stop sign crossings around the Jacoby campus. Most drivers are not used to watching for runners crossing and will treat the stop signs as suggestions as they speed through their turns.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

Very good. You are crossing mostly lightly used intersections during this run and you will only probably need to stop sporadically.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

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Manhattan: Summer Streets – Central Park down Park Ave. to the Brooklyn Bridge

Since 2008, New York City has created a great NYC opportunity to run/walk/bike/skate/mambo down a significant length of Park Ave/4th Ave/Lafayette Ave without any car or truck traffic to contend with.

It’s called Summer Streets and I hope the city has the foresight to make this one of the great annual traditions that will endure for many decades to come. This usually happens during the morning hours of the first three Saturdays in August (if you are reading this before 8/19/17, you still have time to join the last Summer Streets of the year!). If you are in NYC during this period, make it a point to take advantage of this awesome opportunity.

I make it a point to take advantage of this fun outing at least once per year. Organizing a group of friends to run the length of the course is a plus. And if you have time to spare, there are usually great attractions to get in line for along Summer Streets. In the past, there have been container swimming pools, art installations in the Park Ave. Tunnel, ziplines, water slides, and more. Also, nowadays, lots of fitness and wellness-related companies setup booths to share their latest wares with you.

The point of this is that if you don’t get out and experience this special event, you miss out on an opportunity to enjoy some of the best things that New York City has to offer: a car-less opportunity to travel down the skyscraper-lined streets, with the best parts of the New York City community all around you. And you will likely travel in a state of continual wonder and awe without having to worry about a two-ton truck bearing down on you unawares.

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Route map in three pieces to provide street name detail.

Screenshot 2017-08-13 16.52.26

Also, here is a better map from the Summer Streets site.

Route Description:

(Run 8/12/17) If you want to run the whole banana, start the route in Central Park on the 72nd Transverse overlooking the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain (made famous in numerous TV shows and films).

Head east on the 72nd St. Transverse until you reach the edge of the park at 5th Ave. Then, continue along 72nd St. until you reach Park Ave.

Make a right on Park Ave. and follow the signs all the way down to Brooklyn Bridge! Pretty simple, right?

Mileage:

5.2 (Central Park to Brooklyn Bridge entrance) to 6.5 (Central Park to Brooklyn via the Brooklyn Bridge) miles

Elevation: 

Basically flat. Varies from 0 to 64 feet.

Hill Ratio:

0 hills for a ratio of 0.00.

CPMR: 

0.00. No cigarette smokers encountered during this run.

%RNPS:

0.0. Amazingly, the entirety of this course from Central Park to the entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge does not bring you to within a half mile of either of Manhattan’s two freeways.

Safe after dark?

I’d say this route is very safe to run during the event hours and very safe during daylight hours and pretty safe up until midnight most other times just because it is in Manhattan.

Crowd Scene?

Serious runners will usually try to run the course starting at 7am when it opens. In past years, it becomes a runner’s nightmare after 9am when all the tourists, walkers, and recreational bikers make it out.

Running Surface:

Concrete and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There a whole host of options for changing all along this route. In Central Park there are bathrooms under the Bethesda Terrace on the south side, then you have a few hotels you can sneak into to use their typically clean bathrooms along the route like the Grand Millenium at Grand Central Terminal, the Whole Foods bathroom on 14th, the changing rooms at REI on Houston, or the Millenium Hilton Downtown bathrooms on the third floor.

Points of Interest:

Along the way, you’ll be treated to great views of Park Ave. from the Upper East Side through midtown and the MetLife Building (formerly the PanAm Building), the MetLife Tower, the Union Square Metronome, Chinatown, the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse (of Law and Order fame), City Hall, and the Brooklyn Bridge among many other historic sites.

Good for Groups:

Great for group runs of up to 8-15. Most of the course is on wide streets that are typically clear early in the morning. It becomes far less manageable for large groups starting at 9am to the 1pm closing.

Safe from Cars:

Yes, a million times yes! No cars on Park Ave. and the cross traffic is managed well by volunteers and cops who strive to keep you safe during your journey.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

The major break points will take place at the major intersections: 59th, 42nd, 34th, 23rd, 14th, Houston, Spring, Canal. But they will be enjoyable as they will give you a chance to pause and really drink in the experience.

Friends Run Into During Run:

Three! However, they were all running with me. But one of my running partners ran into at least two others that he knew.

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

Bronx: Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center – Home Depot for peaceful short- to medium-runs

For many runners, maintaining momentum is important during their run. Finding a short route that provides the fewest running interruptions can be important to a runner. For this reason, I present you with the Jacoby – Home Depot route. It can be a peaceful 4-miler and, yet, it can be so much more! If you tack on the 1 mile loop around the Home Depot-Planet Fitness shopping center, you can make this anywhere from a 5-miler to a 12-miler and beyond!

Screenshot 2017-08-08 23.35.18

Route Description:

(Run 8/5/17) This route starts at the driveway of 1935 Eastchester Road, near the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and Eastchester Road.

Head south to Morris Park Ave. and make a right.

About 400 meters later, make another right on Seminole Ave. and follow the street around the western side of the Jacoby/Einstein campus to Pelham Parkway South.

Make a right on Pelham Parkway South and continue until Eastchester Road.

At Eastchester Road, make a left and cross to bike path on the north side of Pelham Parkway (not Pelham Parkway North). Make a right on the bike path and follow it to Stillwell Ave.

Make a left on Stillwell Ave. and follow it to the right as it continues on to the east. Run on the long, continuous sidewalk in front of the United Cerebral Palsy/Hausman Campus.

Near the end of the campus, you will be forced to cross the street to continue to the end of Stillwell Ave. where you will curl left along E. Gun Hill Road around Kings Harbor Hospital.

Continue for two blocks to the stop sign right across the street from the Pelham Bay Diner. After you pass the stop sign, turn around and return the way you came for the four-mile route.

Bonus miles! If you want to continue adding miles to your run, you can loop around the Home Depot-Planet Fitness shopping center starting from this point across the street from Pelham Bay Diner.

For the additional 1-mile loop, continue running north along E. Gun Hill Road (be mindful crossing the two shopping center entrances) until you hit Allerton Ave (after the gas station).

Turn left on Allerton Ave. and follow two long blocks (Allerton Ave. becomes Gunther Ave. beginning with the second block).

When you reach Waring Ave., cross to the far side and make a left.

Follow Waring Ave. until you reach E. Gun Hill Road again (about 7 blocks) and make a left to the stop sign across from the Pelham Bay Diner to complete the 1-mile loop.

Return home from this point if you are finished with the loops or continue repeating the loop as desired.

Mileage:

4 miles to many.

Elevation: 

Basically flat. Varies from 26 to 62 feet.

Hill Ratio:

0 hills for a ratio of 0.00.

CPMR: 

0.00. No cigarette smokers encountered for the past five runs.

%RNPS:

0.50. The 4-mile course places you within a half mile of a major highway for the middle two miles of the course. The 1-mile loop is entirely within a half mile of a major highway.

Safe after dark?

This route is pretty safe until dark.

Crowd Scene?

Very light foot traffic for the majority of the course. Most of the foot traffic you encounter will be in front of Jacoby Hospital along Pelham Parkway South.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms.

Points of Interest:

Good views of the Pelham Parkway and the Hausman Campus.

Good for Groups:

Great for group runs of up to 4. Most of the course is along neighborhood sidewalks so you can run 2 across comfortably for most of the course.

Safe from Cars:

As long as you are mindful of the light neighborhood traffic and at the entrances for Jacoby Hospital and the shopping center, you should be fine on this low-volume set of roads.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

The major break point will be when you cross Pelham Parkway north to south or vice versa. With experience, you can time your crossings with minimal stoppage. Otherwise, most of the run can be done without a major break in momentum.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

Bronx: Parkchester – Pelham Bay Park – Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center

If you have a long daily commute like I do (1.5 hours each way), you can appreciate any opportunity to make those commute hours more productive. If you commute to Manhattan from the Jacoby Hospital/Morris Park area or vice versa, here is a nice, quiet 5-miler to kick off/end your daily commute.

Click on map to enlarge.

Route Description:

(Run 7/14/17) This route starts at the Parkchester Subway Station on the 6 train line. You start by heading east on Westchester Ave and follow it to the Pelham Bay Subway Station at the end of the 6 train line. If in doubt, you can simply keep running under the 6 train overhead tracks.

Once at the Pelham Bay Station, head upstairs and through the station to the pedestrian bridge to Pelham Bay Park.

At the bottom of the pedestrian bridge, make a u-turn (left or right, doesn’t matter) and follow the perimeter of the park until you pass the Bronx Victory Memorial (spire topped by a golden statue) and cross the next crosswalk across the road adjacent to the park. It should lead onto a bike path and head west toward the I-95.

Follow the bike path until Stillwell Ave. (minding the five on-ramps/off-ramps) then continue on Pelham Parkway South until you reach Wilson Ave. and then make a left.

At this point, you follow the western perimeter of the Jacoby Hospital campus. Head south on Wilson Ave. which becomes Neill Ave., then left on Seminole Ave. to Morris Park Ave. where you make your final left. Follow Morris Park Ave. for a 1/4 mile to Eastchester Road to end the run.

Mileage:

5 miles

Elevation: 

Basically flat. Varies from 17 to 68 feet.

Hill Ratio:

0 hills for a ratio of 0.00.

CPMR: 

0.20. You’ll usually run into an MTA employee catching a smoke break on the pedestrian bridge to Pelham Bay Park.

Safe after dark?

This route is pretty safe until dark. Some isolated spots.

Crowd Scene?

Very light foot traffic for the majority of the course. You’ll see most folks in the first half-mile of this run if you start at Parkchester Subway Station.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms.

Points of Interest:

Good views of the Pelham Parkway, Pelham Bay Park, and Pelham Bay.

Good for Groups:

Great for group runs of up to 5. Mainly the narrow sidewalks in the first mile of the run limit this number from being bigger.

Safe from Cars:

As long as you are mindful of the neighborhood traffic, you should be fine in this low- to mid-volume set of roads. Stay alert as you still have to cross six freeway on-ramps/off-ramps. They are not heavily travelled but they are used enough that you should remain aware at all times.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

I counted 11 break points along the way. Figure on getting hung up on at least half of them.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

Manhattan/New Jersey: George Washington Bridge/Long Path Trail Run

In today’s post (which I originally started in April 2015), I share with you a pretty good, Manhattan-adjacent trail run. It’s “pretty good” for a number of reasons. It can be a long-, mid-, or short-run. It gets pretty technical (challenging) for a beginner. It is an 11-minute jog from Manhattan and you get great views of the Hudson and the city.

It is part of the Long Path which is a trail that runs from Fort Lee, NJ (where the George Washington Bridge is anchored on one side to in New Jersey) to Albany, NY. It is maintained by the New York New Jersey Trail Conference. Support them by buying trail maps. They are well worth the price. It only gets a “pretty good” rating because it doesn’t have much in the way of challenging elevations, but I highly recommend it as a starter trail.

You can use this trail to run distances of varying lengths which I’ll cover below. This particular run ended up being about 15 miles, round-trip.

For Those New to Trail Running

Before I delve into the specifics of the trail, let me describe for the new-to-trail-running runners a few things, in no particular order, that they should keep in mind before embarking on this really exciting journey. Speaking as a novice trail runner, take these points with a grain of salt.

  1. Trail running is not road running. I like to describe trail running as a continual exercise in trying not to trip and fall flat on your face. We’re not talking about the luxurious, crushed-gravel, 10-foot wide service roads that snake through beautiful hiking areas. We’re talking about paths that are carved out of the landscape by foot traffic which are littered with irregular-sized rocks, roots, branches, large puddles, or fallen trees. And these are obstacles you will encounter with every step.
  2. Trail running is usually slower than road running. Are you a long run 10-min/miler? Figure on a 12- to 13-minute mile pace when trail running. This is mainly because you are actively vetting every step you take if you are trying to avoid the falling-on-your-face part I mentioned above.
  3. Ticks. Not a big deal a few decades ago, but now everyone is talking about them and their ability to transmit Lyme Disease. Take precautions before you go on a run, cover as much of your legs as you can (high socks and/or long shorts) and do a post-run check of all your exposed skin areas and the non-exposed skin areas too! Then wash your clothes promptly in case they are hanging out there. Click here for a little more detail on how to deal with ticks.
  4. If in a group, run with at least 20 feet of space between runners. Make sure each runner has enough time to assess and react to the trail as it unfolds. Running too close to each other can cause an unexpected fall for trailing runners.
  5. Look out for one another. If you are in a group, it’s always a good idea to stop every few miles to make sure everyone is still alive and well.
  6. Running alone? Let someone know of your plans. Always a good idea to text someone if you plan to do some extensive trail running on your own. Just a quick note about your route and expected finish time should be enough. You never know.

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Click on the map above to get a better look at the route run for this blog posting.

Route Description:

(Run 4/19/15) This route starts at the corner of 177th St. and Ft. Washington Ave. near the 175th St Station of the A train in Washington Heights.

Head north to 178th St. and make a left. Just after Cabrini Blvd. you should see the spiraling, ramp entrance to the bike/pedestrian path across the bridge. On a clear and sunny weekend morning, you can just follow the packs of bikers to the entrance. If you are running in a group, make sure to run single file as it gets pretty congested with bikes, runners, and walkers.

20150524_103053_Henry Hudson Dr

Here’s an example of how crazy crowded it gets on the GW Bridge bike/pedestrian path. Those bikers are usually trying to go 14 MPH with tourists walking 2-3 abreast. If you run with a group, try and run single file across the bridge and watch out.

After you cross the bridge, make a right on the first cross street you encounter, Hudson Terrace, and cross under the overpass to the Long Path entrance.

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Here is what the entrance to the Long Path looks like. Ignore the arrow pointing you back they way you came. The entrance to the Long Path shares the entrance to the now closed GWB Northwalk. The Long Path is atop these steps and over the pedestrian bridge (not pictured). If the entrance to the Long Path ends up closed, you can always take the long way and head to the other side of Fort Lee Historic Park and take Henry Hudson Drive down to the water and then back up to the trail.

Once you get on the trail heading north, keep the cliff on your right and don’t take any of the branches that head down to the bottom of the cliff. Stay on the high side of the trail.

Follow the aqua trail blazes (markers) to stay on course on the Long Path trail.

Long_Path_blaze

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2820156
Here is an example of a Long Path trail blaze.

This particular run hit the turnaround at the far side of the Alpine Lookout, roughly 8 miles from our starting point. However, there are many variations you can take with this run. Here are a few examples, below.

Out-and-back Turnaround Points

5 mile – Head to the back of the Gas Station on the Palisades Parkway and turn around.

6 mile – Head to the far end of the St. Peter’s College campus boundary and turn around.

10 mile – Go about a quarter mile past the Rockerfeller Lookout and turn around.

16 mile – Alpine Lookout Rest Stop (far end) and turn around.

One-way Routes with Bus Return Options

Coach USA runs a bus up and down the Palisades Parkway.  Here is a link to a schedule for you to review.  Note some of the busses go back to the GW Bridge Bus Terminal and some go to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Make sure you pick the one you need on the way back.

The fare is somewhere between $7 and $10 depending on where you catch the bus and the driver takes cash (up to $20). You can also buy a ticket in advance from the GW and Port Authority bus terminals. Check out their site for exact fares if you prefer.

3.5 mile – Englewood Cliffs (Palisade Ave. and Rt. 9W) – In case you just wanted a quick taste of trail running or something goes horribly wrong, this stop is available around mile 3.5 along the Long Path. You’ll know this as the first road you encounter after passing St. Peter’s College. This road is further highlighted by a short set of stairs that you’ll have to descend to get to the cross-street. This should be Palisade Ave. and you should be able to take a left and walk to Sylvan Ave (Rt. 9W) to catch the bus back.

9 mile –  At around the 9-mile mark (assuming you are watching your GPS watch info), you will notice a tunnel on your left that leads under the Palisades Parkway. If you walk through this tunnel to the other side, you will end up on Route 9W. Make a left and head about 200 yards to the intersection with a traffic light and you should see the north- and south-bound bus shelters off Closter Dock Road.

15 mile – This run gets you to The Filling Station which serves great food and offers a clean bathroom to clean up in. There is a bus station about 1/4 mile south of The Filling Station which you pass on your way in which is referred to on the schedule as “Palisade” (Oak Tree Road and Rt 9W).

Also along the way, you will run into various bathroom options.

Bathroom Opportunities:

  • Mile 0 – The GW Bus Terminal Restrooms at 179th St. and Ft. Washington Ave. They seem to clean them around 8am on weekends so might be a good option around then.
  • Mile 2.5ish – Gas Station on the Palisades Parkway. You run past the back of the gas station that sits along the Palisades Parkway on the Long Trail which has a snack shop and a public bathroom.
  • Mile 10ish – Palisades Park Headquarters. There are administrative offices and the park police station here along with the public bathrooms.
  • Mile 13ish – State Line Lookout. This is a visitor’s area that also includes a restroom.
  • Mile 15ish – The Filling Station. A great way point/end point with great food and drink options.

Mileage:

15.88 miles (Alpine Lookout turnaround).

Elevation: 

The GPS elevation map indicates a very small variation in altitude. It varies from 292 ft to 400 ft so not too crazy elevation wise.

Hill Ratio:

For this particular run it is 10 hills for 16 miles or 0.625. Not too bad.

Cigarette Smokers Per Mile Run: 

Pretty healthy – no smokers on this run.

Safe after dark?

I recommend this run in the daytime only. No lights on-trail and the secluded nature of the run don’t lend itself to a safe running environment at night.

Crowd Scene?

No. It is a pretty nice, quiet run. I figure you run into another runner or group of hikers once a mile. On the other hand, I recommend a running buddy near dusk or dawn.

Running Surface:

Concrete sidewalk on the bridge and leading to the Long Path. The Long Path varies from gravel road to knotted root/rocky technical trail.

Changing Station?

Not really one here. You can maybe hit the bathroom at the GW Bridge Bus Station at 179th St. and Ft. Washington Ave., but I only recommend that space only if absolutely necessary.  The bathroom situation maybe better after the renovation is done…whenever that will be. If you make it all the way to The Filling Station, they have a pretty clean bathroom, but only one communal bathroom. So, try not to hog it as other bikers and runners need to use it too.

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The runner’s (and biker’s) oasis after 15 miles on the Long Path: The Filling Station.

Points of Interest:

In addition to experiencing the wonders of Washington Heights, you’ll be treated to great views of Manhattan and New Jersey from the Hudson River. Also, here is a nice tourist map to review and possibly print out to take with you.

  • George Washington Bridge
  • Allison Park
  • St. Peter’s College
  • Rockefeller Lookout
  • Alpine Lookout
  • Palisades Park Headquarters (with Public Bathrooms!)
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • The Filling Station (in Palisades, not West Haverstraw)

Good for Groups:

Workable for 2 to 8, at the most. Be prepared to be spread out single-file with at least 20 feet between runners.

Safe from Cars:

Safe for the most part. The most dangerous part is getting over and back on the GW as mad bikers try to motor past you on the oh-so-narrow multi-modal bike/pedestrian path. They really need to open the other side for bikers-only. Maybe we’ll see that in 2024 once the GW Bridge renovation is complete (separate from the GW Bus Terminal renovation). On trail, you will cross a few, low-traffic-volume roads.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

Pretty good! Once you get on-trail you are free to move as fast and as far as you like. Well, break-free for at least 14 miles until you get to the Filling Station.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0. It is a pretty remote location after all. And it’s totally not because I don’t have lots of friends!

Final Notes:

  1. Budding Ultramarathoners – Run to Nyack via the Long Path for a training run and take the bus back. It’s a challenge and is good for a 22 miler.  Or run to Harriman State Park for a 30+ mile run via the Long Path.
  2. Don’t run after a heavy rain – Unless you really like mud and splashing in large puddles, be flexible with your running plans after a heavy rain. I suggest that for a more pleasant first-time trail run, wait until a few days after a heavy rain before venturing onto this trail.

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

Manhattan: Sample Sale Run – West Side Highway – Highline – Sample Sale

So, this week the Sample Sale Store was having a Sample Sale of Asics gear (up to 70% off retail – runs through Sunday). Of course, I had to stop by and map out a different route in the process. I thought that a detour through the Highline would be a horrible idea and I’d get to prove it here in this post. So, if you have a running friend who is staying downtown and really likes samples sales, this article is custom-made for them!

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Click on map to enlarge.

Route Description:

(Run 4/16/15) This route starts at the Winter Garden near the North Cove Marina, works its way along the running path along the Hudson until 34th St. Then you cross the West Side Hwy to the 34th St. entrance of the Highline.  Take note: this entrance closes at dusk while the rest of the entrances close at 10pm. If you get here after dusk, you’ll need to go around to the entrance on 11th Ave and 30th St to get onto the Highline. Follow the Highline to the 28th St exit and head east to 5th Ave near 29th St to arrive at the Sample Store.

Mileage:

A surprising 5 miles (I thought it would be shorter).

Elevation: 

Getting up on the Highline is the only real elevation to worry about.

Hill Ratio:

1 hill for a ratio of 0.20.

CPMR: 

0.2.  Surprising since I ran through the city for about a mile and a half.

Safe after dark?

I’d reckon the entirety of this route is pretty safe until about 9pm.

Crowd Scene?

The run along the Hudson was pretty wide open. The Highline was a surprise. The path on the northern end was pretty spacious. So, I’d say on a coldish day, you should be good for up to a group. On a nice day, expect the worst.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and cinder block.

Changing Station?

Nothing available on this route.

Points of Interest:

Great views of the Hudson, Hoboken, Chelsea Piers, Chelsea Waterside Park, The Highline, the Javits Center, the Frying Pan, and the Sample Store!

Good for Groups:

Great for group runs on a coldish day.

Safe from Cars:

Very safe until you get off the Highline. Then, you’ll need to pay attention to cars and bikes in the bike lanes on 8th Ave and Broadway.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

Pretty good! You’re moving well until you exit the Highline. Then you are stopping pretty much every avenue until the Sample Store.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

© 2015 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

Manhattan: Downtown Post Office to UES via Broadway/Park Ave/3rd Ave

Feeling tired after yesterday’s interval training, I just wanted to log a few easy miles. However, I also wanted to stay engaged during my run and not zone out.  Running through the streets of Manhattan usually is good for keeping you on your toes and offering new and interesting ways to get decked during your run.

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Click on map to enlarge.

Route Description:

(Run 4/3/15) I started from Church and Barclay in downtown Manhattan then headed east to Boardway.  Then, I ran north on Broadway to 14th, east to Park Ave, north to 37th, then east to 3rd Ave, and north to 86th.

Mileage:

5.91 miles

Elevation: 

Minimal

Hill Ratio:

10ish hills for a ratio of 1.69.

CPMR: 

2.87 – almost 3 per mile. Not sure what the impact to my health is but probably a minimal difference considering all the other carcinogens floating around Manhattan anyway.

Safe after dark?

Safe to midnight since there are so many people around.

Crowd Scene?

Yes, goodness, yes! Don’t expect to hit a PR on this route.

Running Surface:

Cement and asphalt.

Changing Station?

None.  Maybe at Jack Rabbits on Lex between 84 and 85?

Points of Interest:

Views of the Freedom Tower, City Hall, Chinatown, Union Square, Grand Central, and Bloomingdales can be enjoyed on this run.

Good for Groups:

Not a good run for groups due to the crowds.

Safe from Cars:

Not really. But crossing over 100 intersections keeps you on your toes and engaged during the run.

Friends Run Into During Run:

1 (CO’L!)

© 2015 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.