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


  1. Thanks Phil. That was a great way to start the day. Really nice group.

  2. That's neat. I'm an Iowan who just two weeks ago visited NYC, as a chaperone for my daughter's high school choir trip. It happened to be the weekend of the NYC Half and I got in the lottery. So I ran it, and then I just kept running and went over the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, then through (I assume) Chinatown and then to Times Square where I met up with the rest of the group. It was a really fun way to see NYC! I would have enjoyed your run as well I'm sure.

  3. That's great Tim! I'm a Nebraskan myself, and a choir singer too. Running is a great way to see the city, and I'm sure you found that urban running requires a whole new skill set, especially on the crowded streets of Chinatown! haha

  4. That was a great run Phil - even though I got to take two bites at the cherry!


  5. I am assuming that the run did not include the crossing of the High Bridge (yet). Are there any plans to change the route when the bridge opens in 2014? There is a lot going on there. We have not had a new bridge crossing onto manhattan for many years. Yea, I know, this is not a new bridge. In fact, it is the oldest bridge in NYC, but I feel like it is a new bridge. Please see this website for all the latest on the High Bridge Did you ever consider the topographical problem if you cannot cross all the bridges without crossing one twice? Or do you? Will it be more difficult with the addition of the High Bridge?

  6. I have a few additional comments. When you say Manhattan, I assume you mean the Island of Manhattan, and not the Borough of Manhattan. If you were to run the bridges of the Borough of Manhattan you would have quite a few more bridges to cross than if you just run the bridges of the Island. For a better understanding of the differences please see:
    The Borough run would force you onto Randal's, Ward's and Roosevelt Islands. There are also three (or four, depending on how you count) railway bridges. The Metro North Spuyten Duyvil Bridge and the Park Avenue Bridge both eminate from Manhattan Island, and The Hell Gate bridges from Queens to Randal's Island and from Randal's Island to the Bronx would be included if you run the Borough.
    I'm not sure they would even let you run the rail bridges anyway.

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