Tag Archives: Freedom Tower

Joggling the entire length of Manhattan and more!

When I said “I’m back in business!”, I meant it! Yesterday on Halloween I joggled 23 miles(37 km) in 4 hours from lower Westchester county to the southern tip of Manhattan in Battery park, 16 days after donating a pint of blood. This involved running the entire 13.5 mile(21.7 km) length of Manhattan island, almost entirely along the Hudson river bike/pedestrian path which runs along the West Side Highway. This is the farthest south I’ve ever run, so I ended up taking the train back home. The other 9.5 miles of my journey come from running through the suburbs of Westchester and the Bronx, and the occasional westward run out onto the docks on the west side(the run south wasn’t a straight line). The path is mostly flat, except in northern Manhattan where it is hilly in some parts.

The orange line going south was my path.

The orange line going south was my path. I started out using the Putnam trail until I got to route 9(in the Bronx).

I’ve been wanting to run the entire length of Manhattan island for years now. I kept putting it off, but now it feels great that I was able to accomplish this – while juggling almost the entire time. Somewhere near west Harlem, the path is blocked off due to some construction, so I had to make a detour onto some side streets. I was prepared for this since I read about it on an online cycling site. Fortunately, this detour onto the mean streets was only a few blocks.

Along the way, many other runners and walkers asked if I was ready for sunday or if I was going to do this during the NYC Marathon, which is on sunday, november 3rd. I said no, and mentioned I did the Yonkers Marathon about a month ago. While I do not qualify for the NYC Marathon, even if I did I still wouldn’t run it because of how expensive it is.

I did drop the balls a bunch of times, but I think no more than 8, and always while doing tricks. These school kids taking a Halloween day school-trip along the Hudson path loved the joggling! Since it was Halloween, I often saw demons, zombies, vampires, ghouls, lawyers(the scariest of them all!) and other scary, interesting creatures both along the path and out on the city streets. It was hilarious how so many zombies and vampires on the loose of the streets of New York City would look at me all perplexed as I joggled past. I considered wearing a devil or zombie costume while running, but I freak out people enough as it is.

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Although I have run and walked the Hudson river path before, I never covered a significant distance. It was so intimidating, seeing these skyscrapers in the far distance to the south in lower Manhattan and thinking to myself that I have to run past them. Ordinarily, when running in the suburbs or rural areas, I can’t see landmarks I will have to pass or make my turn-back point 12 miles in the distance(except for big hills or mountains). This was especially the case with the nearly completed Freedom Tower, which was built on the World Trade Center site. I felt thrilled when I finally ran past it. It was also inspiring how the city bounced back after the horrific tragedy on september 11th.

It felt fantastic running along a large body of water for once. The mighty Hudson is a real river, unlike the Bronx “river” I usually run along, which is more like a stream. It was a cloudy day and there was a sweet breeze coming off the Hudson that kept me cool. At one point, I think it was at mile 14, it started raining for a few minutes and I got very wet. I don’t think I hit the wall, though I was kind of tired by mile 18.

If it wasn’t for the crowds and busy streets in the Bronx, in upper Manhattan, and also in lower Manhattan(had to make another detour near the Freedom Tower to make my way to Battery park), I probably would have completed this run at least 15 minutes faster. I was reduced to walking in some crowded areas, and sometimes slow running without juggling, not to mention all the times I had to stop because of the heavy traffic. On the Hudson path from Washington Heights to about 14th street though, there were hardly any major interruptions. I was wearing my vegan T-shirt on this run.

All in all, a great experience!

I hope everyone is doing great and hope you all had a great Halloween! And to everyone running the NYC Marathon or any other races, I wish you the best of luck!

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The Statue of Liberty, as seen from Battery park

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Joggling across the Brooklyn Bridge

Last week, I joggled across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn for the first time on a slightly warm, sunny day. I didn’t blog about this earlier because I was hoping some good photos that were taken that day(not by me, but by the many people on the bridge) would surface, but unfortunately this hasn’t happened.

Since the span of the Brooklyn Bridge is a little over 1.1 miles, this is by no means a great athletic achievement, though it felt amazing since this was the first time I joggled from one New York City borough to another. The views and the crowd support were priceless. I’m sure other jogglers have done this before.

I kept thinking I was going to drop the balls due to the crowds, the cyclists, the noise from the cars, the occasional beautiful woman, and the temptation to keep spinning(I did this a few times) around to see the Manhattan skyline, but no, I didn’t drop any of the balls even once. The incline toward the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge isn’t much of a challenge if you’re an experienced runner, though it did tire me a little. The wind was light to moderate.

I mostly ran on the bike path(or the line between the bike path and pedestrian path) of the walkway, since this was mostly clear, while the path for pedestrians was very crowded. I had to maneuver my way around a lot of tourists and occasionally some slow cyclists on the bike path, shocking many people as I zoomed by, but eventually made it to downtown Brooklyn in one piece where I took a break due to all the traffic and because my throat suddenly became very sore. It may have been due to all the traffic on the bridge and because my lungs aren’t used to running in the city(I mostly joggle in the suburbs or wilderness areas). On the bridge I only had to slow down just twice due to the crowds, but did my usual speed almost the entire way across.

I resumed joggling along the Brooklyn waterfront, and almost fell in the water a few times. You can get amazing views of the lower Manhattan skyline from here, especially the new Freedom Tower, which is nearly completed. This is the skyscraper that is on the former World Trade Center site, so it’s nice to see we have made a comeback from that dark, horrific day on september 11, 2001. I mostly enjoyed running around there, in spite of my throat, and memories of that day.

After another short break, in which I just power-walked instead of running or joggling, my throat felt better. I made my way along Atlantic avenue and many side streets to Parkslope and then to Prospect Park, joggling about half way there, dropping the balls a couple of times, coughing occasionally, then taking a few water breaks since I was sweating a lot and to help relieve my scratchy throat.

Prospect Park is basically Brooklyn’s Central Park, and I joggled around the entire main running path which forms a big circle around the entire park, then had lunch in a shady spot. After this, I explored Parkslope for a bit before heading home. Like Central Park, Prospect Park is full of runners and cyclists(and weirdos and muggers), including some barefoot runners, more than I see up in the suburbs. Many people were amazed by the joggling, especially because I was running faster than usual, though it isn’t all that new to Brooklyn or New York City. The kids down there love it, and I loved their Brooklyn accents.

So yes, you can joggle across the Brooklyn Bridge if you’re an experienced joggler, and it is not too crowded. It is likely much easier on a weekday(I did this on a thursday) than during the weekend. And Parkslope looks like a great neighborhood to be a vegan. The sore throat was likely due to pollution, and was gone after a few days. Luckily, it didn’t interfere with my running all that much while I had it.