Savoring My City Runs: The Queensboro Bridge

I can hardly believe it, but it’s almost the end of April, which means two things.

1. I turn 21 27 in three days.

2. It’s almost May, also known as my last month in New York City. Holy wow.

With just a month or so to go before Noah and I make the big move out of The Big Apple, I’ve resolved to savor each and every New York City run — even if I’m a tad sick of it (which, because I’ve hardly taken any breaks since spring began, I kind of am). Woe is me. But even if it’s just a mile to a favorite coffee shop, Union Square, a yoga studio, I’ve got to remind myself that there is only so much time left to soak it all in.

And so, I’ll run.

Picture 7

Today’s run took me to one of my favorite routes outside of Central Park (okay, and outside of the High Line and the West Side Highway; I have a lot of favorites). The Queensboro Bridge is the first bridge I ever ran over. For a while, it was the only bridge I’d run until I finally built up the courage to try the Manhattan Bridge, and then the Williamsburg Bridge, and then the Brooklyn Bridge. Each one has their pluses and minuses — their challenges and moments of ease. One thing they all have in common though: unbeatable panoramic views of New York City. Today’s Queensboro Bridge run was no different.

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The run itself is probably the ugliest of all the bridges, to put it bluntly. The bridge has an industrial, heavy feel, and its peaks have always made me feel as though Batman or one of his nemeses were lurking in some nook or cranny. At times, it feels dirty, claustrophobic, old and loud.

Picture 6

But then again, the Queensboro Bridge is the quietest of all the bridges to run, with very few pedestrians — runners, walkers, bikers — making their way across the East River by foot (or wheel). As a runner, it’s also steeped in symbolism; although I’ve never signed up for or participated in the New York City Marathon, it’s the structure that ushers athletes into Manhattan with a resounding roar — that alleged wall of people cheering that hits you, bam, as you turn onto 1st Avenue.

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Or so I hear.

While she can be a real bitch on a windy day like today, the Queensboro Bridge has a lot to offer, from the steady incline that forces you to dig deep and hold strong — just a little bit longer to the flatter surface — to her stunning views of the river below. 59th Street Bridge, I’ll miss you when I move to Philadelphia, but I look forward to meeting again in the future on a warm and sunny spring day once again.

Bridge runs: yay or nay? What’s your favorite (or least favorite) bridge to run — in New York City or beyond?

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4 thoughts on “Savoring My City Runs: The Queensboro Bridge

  1. No bridge run experience here, because of lack of bridges, I just wanna thank you for your fantastic inspirational blog! I’m not even close to be the runner you are but every time I need someone to get me back out I turn to this blog and I already feel inspired to run again. Thank you!
    Greetings from Sweden

    • Thanks for your kind words! So glad to be able to add a little inspiration to your runs. That means the world to me. And who needs bridge runs when there are parks, streets, tracks and more? (Though if you do come across a cool urban bridge, by all means, check it out. It spices up the routine!)

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