The 10 Things I’ll Miss Most (and Least) About NYC Running

I spent the last three days getting to know the city I’ll soon call home: Philadelphia. And while I appreciated the quiet streets (umm, most pleasant walk to to work of all time)…

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…and enchanting BYOB restaurants, I never got the chance to run. For one, I forgot my headphones. But I was also simply pressed for time. Instead, I got my butt out of bed bright and early and used the gym in the basement of the B&B in which I stayed. From the subterranean gym, I could see commuters, walkers and runners zipping past on the streets above. Of course, this got me thinking about how much I’ll miss running in Manhattan — a big part of that routine which is my morning run.

Here are the top 10 things I’ll miss most about New York City Running.

1. Sunrise on the East River. This is by far one of the best ways to start your day.

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2. Races in the park. Best when you’re actually racing in them, otherwise they can admittedly be a bit annoying.

3. Street nuts. If you’ve ever run past a cart of candied nuts, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Nommmmm.

4. Camaraderie. When you look another runner dead in the eyes in the dead of winter and nod, acknowledging that the two of you are as badass as it gets.

5. Central Park at sunrise. Especially during fall.

6. Central Park in the afternoon. Any time of the year.

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7. Bridge runs. This is one of New York’s shining features. The city is brimming with bridges. I’ll be sad to see those go.

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8. Food runs. My guilty pleasure has always been to base my weekend runs around food fairs. Smorgasburg? Yes please!

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9. Specifically, dumpling runs. Especially dumplings that cost just $1.

10. Familiarity. I know this city like the back of my hand. I know how long it takes to run from point A to point B and C and D and E. I know how many miles you’ll log if you go through this borough or that. I know where you can find the nearest bathroom Starbucks and water fountain. I know that, eventually, I’ll become this familiar with Philadelphia. I know it will just take time.

Now, for the negative. Here are the things I’ll miss least.

1. Thursdays. I’m pretty sure New York City is the only one in which trash bags are deposited directly on the street for pick-up.

2. Foot traffic. I’ve gotten to the point where I know exactly which streets to run on at different times of the day. But no matter where you go, there will always be heavy foot traffic. New York is a very crowded place.

3. Taxis. Even in Central Park, they are aggressive, nasty and mean. I’m pretty sure that if a cab is in the park, they should abide by pedestrian rules.

4. Horses. Sorry folks, but I’m one of the haters that is ready to seen these gone. They make Central Park — and my runs — smell like manur.

5. Chinatown. May you never inhale deeply during this part of your run.

6. Garbage puddles. Something about the puddles in New York City never seems clean. In fact, they seem really dirty. Sometimes, you accidentally run through them (usually when you’re happily floating along). That’s when it happens. You feel the dirty water seep slowly into your sneaker and squish between your toes. Game over. I recommend just burning your socks after a mistake like that.

7. Construction workers. Specifically those that do the whole “mock running” thing as you go by. I really want to punch these people, though I suppose they exist everywhere.

8. Smelly spots. New York has some spots that just… well, they don’t smell right. That’s all.

9. Slow walkers. Being the tourist haven that it is, there are some very… very… very slow walkers, especially once you begin to approach Central Park.

10. Pavement. I would love to see New York City install more tracks in convenient locations. The East River has a great one, providing a free locale in which to work out. In a city rife with overpriced boutique studios (I really don’t understand how people afford to go so often), we can use all the on-the-house options we can get.

Your turn! The good, the bad, the ugly — share some of your favorite and least favorite aspects about running in New York City or wherever you may be.

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4 thoughts on “The 10 Things I’ll Miss Most (and Least) About NYC Running

  1. Welcome to the city of brother love! While it’s not Manhattan, there is lots to love about our city. As a runner, Fairmount Park is one of them. It’s really a series of parks throughout the city and is the largest urban park system in the country. Running along Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill river is awesome any time of day. Pennypack Park in the Northeast feels like an escape from the urban jungle and hosts some really great races. Last year was the inaugural Rocky 50K Badass run and was a huge success. Plenty of other great runs here!

  2. Welcome to Philly! I’m sure you’ll find your spot running in Philadelphia! Like the poster before me, Kelly Drive is a hot spot but so many of intersections have stop signs and not lights so its easy to run through the neighborhoods themselves. The Broad Street Run is a classic Philadelphia race that just happened about 2 weeks ago. I highly, highly recommend it! Also, AMAZING restaurant scene and cost of living compared to NYC, welcome to the good life ;)!

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