Bronx: Commute Run from 138th to Einstein/Jacoby via 3rd Ave./Boston Rd.

Commute runs are an efficient and fun way to get to where you want to go while getting a substantial workout in at the same time. If your job allows you to dress with a minimum of fuss (i.e. a dress shirt and nice pants), a run like this is completely feasible with a small pack or running vest with a large storage compartment (like this or this).

If you are trying to get to/from Harlem/Manhattan to the Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center, here is a route to consider. One end is anchored by the 138th Street Station of the 2/4/5 train and the other set by a large public space (Jacoby Medical Center).

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Here is a snapshot of the entire route – 6 miles long. 

Route Description:

(Run 3/17/17) This route begins on the corner 138th St. and Grand Concourse.

You’ll head east on 138th St. to 3rd Ave. and make a left, staying on the east side of the street.

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Here is a closeup of the route starting at the 138th Street Station then up through 3rd Ave.

Follow 3rd Ave. north until it winds past 163rd St., then fork to the east (right) onto Boston Rd.

 

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Then you can see how 3rd Ave. forks to the right to become Boston Road.

Follow Boston Road to 180th St. and head east again (right) to Morris Park Ave.

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This shows you the transition from Boston Road, across 180th St. to Morris Park.

Once you reach Morris Park Ave. head north (left) all the way to Eastchester Rd which is about 1.6 miles away at this point.

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And finally, your destination, Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center.

Of course, if you are running from Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center toward the South Bronx/Harlem/Manhattan, just run these steps in reverse!

Mileage:

This is a six-mile route.

Elevation: 

Slightly challenging with variation from 11 to 98 feet with one sharp incline. The rest of the elevation challenges are very gradual.

Hill Ratio:

1 hill for a ratio of 0.16 for the six-mile run.

CPMR: 

0.0. For some reason, I rarely run into smokers on this route despite running through several commercial and residential areas.

%RNPS:

67%. Surprisingly, only two-thirds of this route are roughly a half-mile away from one of the half-dozen freeways that criss-cross the Bronx. I would have expected this run to be at 100%.

Safe after dark?

Despite it’s potential as a good commute run, it does run through the South Bronx and there are sections along 3rd Ave that are still a little questionable despite the recent uptick in new development. The section of Boston Road between 170th St. and 180th St. is also a bit of question mark. Early evening (6-8pm) and mid-morning (7-9am) appear to be good times to run this route.

Crowd Scene?

This course runs through two major commercial areas where you’ll likely encounter crowds on the sidewalk: The Hub and Morris Park. Other than that, the course is pretty uncluttered.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms to change in. No changing stations that I can suggest on the South Bronx side.

Points of Interest:

This route takes you through the heart of the South Bronx. Going south to north, you will see the small section of the Bronx near 138th and the Grand Concourse (right outside the 138th Street Station for the 2/4/5 train) over which the New York Marathon runs. Further up, you’ll run past Patterson Houses, one of the largest public housing developments in the city, then through the commercial area known as The Hub – characterized as a miniature Times Square – on 3rd Ave above 149th St.,  then on through the neighborhoods of Morrisania, West Farms, and finally Morris Park.

Good for Groups:

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

Safe from Cars:

The cross-streets along the majority of this route are low-volume and the path that you’ll run along is well-insulated from fast moving traffic by either wide sidewalks or street parking.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

By my count, you’ll see about ten possible major streets that may require a stop. On a typical day, figure that you will see stops on about 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.

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Bronx: Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center – Morris Park – Bronx Zoo – Mosholu Parkway – Van Cortlandt Park – Yonkers Long Run

Every now and then, we all need a nice, peaceful long run to clear our heads. Alternately, one may need to commute from one end of the Bronx to the other on a daily basis and have opted to spend their hour plus commute exercising instead of sitting (or standing) on a crowded, slow bus across the Bronx. If that person is you, then you are in luck! Today, I am happy to share with you one such route.

This east-west route will take you across the northern portion of the Bronx adjacent to parks and through runnable neighborhoods. Also, running across the Bronx is a healthier alternative to riding the bus from Van Cortlandt Park in the northwestern Bronx to Eastchester Road in the northeastern Bronx given that one can cover the distance on foot in an equivalent amount of time.

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Here is a snapshot of the entire route – 8 miles long. Out-and-back makes it a respectable long run at 16 miles.

 

 

Route Description:

(Run 1/4/15) This route starts adjacent to the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road.

Follow Morris Park Ave. west past Williambridge Road and continue straight.

In about a mile, you will reach 180th Street and the 180th Street Station. Make a right here.

Follow 180th St. along the southern edge of the Bronx Zoo until you reach Boston Road and make a right.

When you reach the Zoo’s southern entrance, make a left and continue along Bronx Park South.

When you reach Southern Blvd., make a right.

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Broken down for clarity, here are the first three miles of the route including Morris Park Ave., 180th St., the short segment on Boston Road, Bronx Park South, and Southern Blvd.

Run another three-quarters of a mile to East Fordham Road and make a left to cross to the west side of Southern Blvd. This is important to do since the sidewalk on the east side of Southern Blvd. mysteriously narrows and disappears along a perilous bend in the road making for a dangerous running situation.

On the west side of Southern Blvd. continue north past Fordham University, the Botanical Garden main entrance, and, later, the Botanical Garden train station.

When you reach Mosholu Parkway, make a left. This diagonally situated street leads you to Van Cortlandt Park via a wide, four-lane street with generally, quiet bike paths on either side. Ideally, you want to travel on the north side of this street to set you up for your next turn and to avoid additional intersection traffic.

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The route between mile 3 and 4 which is runs along Southern Blvd. and Mosholu Parkway.

Head up to West Gun Hill Road/Van Cortlandt Park South and make a left. You’ll know you are on the right path if you encounter a substantial set of stairs at the end of Van Cortlandt Park South. Head down these stairs and continue along 240th St.

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The route between mile 4 and 5 along Mosholu Parkway and the southnern part of Van Cortlandt Park.

Follow 240th St. to Broadway and make a right.

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The route between mile 5 and 6 along Van Cortlandt Park South and Broadway.

Follow Broadway along the western edge of Van Cortlandt Park for about 1.77 miles to Caryl Ave. (past 262nd St.). Stop, say hi to Yonkers and turn around and run back along the way you came.

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And finally, the road to Yonkers via Broadway.

Mileage:

16 miles round-trip or 8 miles each way. For those of you who would prefer to take Pelham Parkway between Southern Blvd and Eastchester Road instead of Morris Park Ave./180th/Bronx Park South, you’ll save yourself .75 miles each way for 14.5 mile round-trip or 7.25 miles one-way.

Elevation: 

Slightly challenging with variation from 49 to 176 feet with two sharp inclines.

Hill Ratio:

2 hills for a ratio of 0.125 for the 16 mile run.

CPMR: 

0.0. Running mostly along parks and parkways has its advantages in terms of avoiding smokers.

%RNPS:

0.875. Heading across the Bronx makes it hard to miss the major freeways in the area. Only two miles of this route are outside of the half-mile range of a major freeway.

Safe after dark?

Safe during the day in terms of both traffic and crime. Night running should be safe with the proper equipment and if you are not familiar with the area around 180th and western end of Morris Park Ave, you should consider bringing a buddy to run with.

Crowd Scene?

The majority of this course is clear of foot traffic. The only areas you’d be concerned with is the 180th St. Station, otherwise, its like your own private running course.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms. On the Van Cortlandt Park side, there are bathrooms at the Golf Course and restaurants along Broadway that you could duck into for a bite and to quickly use their washrooms to change in.

Points of Interest:

This route takes you along the periphery of many of the great institutions in the Bronx, from the Einstein/Jacoby Medical Campus, to the Bronx Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, Fordham University, Mosholu Parkway, and Van Cortlandt Park and Golf Course.

Good for Groups:

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

Safe from Cars:

Most of this course runs safely along low-volume sidewalks and recreational paths that are well-insulated from traffic, but you do have to cross some well-travelled roads.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

In total, you’ll find eight roads that you’ll likely have to stop at during your run one-way, so 16 potential cross streets to contend with round-trip. Three of them will be along Morris Park Ave. (Williamsbridge, Bronxdale, and White Plains Road), then at Fordham Road, at Mosholu Parkway and West Gun Hill Road, and three as you work your way around Van Cortlandt Park at the entrance/exit of I-87, and the entrance/exit of the Henry Hudson Parkway.

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.