Sunday, March 31, 2013

Run Report: Third Occasional Manhattan Bridge Run

Starting on the George Washington Bridge
The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm on March 30 for the Third Occasional Manhattan Bridge Run. This is an informal 33-mile group fun run that I first put together two years ago after doing it once on my own and thinking, this would be more fun with friends along. The idea is to run across every bridge on Manhattan Island, starting with the George Washington Bridge and zig-zagging clockwise across every bridge on the Hudson, Harlem and East Rivers (that can be run across), finishing up by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall Plaza. (I call it "occasional" because even though it's been annual so far, I might do it again in the fall, I might not do it one year, who knows.) I'd only decided to lead this group again and posted the date on Meetup less than a week before, but I got the biggest response yet! More than 20 signed up for some part of the run, we had 16 at the start (if my count was right) and 13 at the finish, with some runners joining us along the way or pulling out along the way.

Elizabeth and Chris near Yankee Stadium, after crossing Macombs Dam Bridge
 There were a few old friends and Bridge Run veterans, like Glen Redpath, who I haven't run with in quite a while, Bill Sycalik, and Tiger Ellen. But most of those who came were new friends for me, and what a pleasure it was to meet everyone! And everyone was running very strong and had such great spirit and energy.

Descending the stairs near High Bridge in Highbridge Park
I enjoy the run very much, and I especially like showing off northern Manhattan to those who aren't familiar with it. And a lot of the race takes place in northern Manhattan, in fact after 10 miles you're only a few blocks from where you start, and a full 17 miles takes place north of the Triborough Bridge.
Tiger Ellen and Phil at the finish
 I was a little nervous about leading such a big group, keeping everyone safe crossing the streets, making sure we didn't leave anyone behind at pit stops. But with everyone's cooperation it all worked out very well. The time seemed to fly by in such great company, and after almost six hours elapsed time we were crossing the crowded Brooklyn Bridge back into Manhattan for our last crossing and to the finish. Thanks to everyone for a great Saturday long run! I hope to see you all again soon!
The group at the finish