Authored by Jay:
Frankly – I’m conflicted.
Frankly – I’m conflicted.
I love living in the Wasatch. In particular, I enjoy running and skiing in these beautiful and accessible mountains. Yet, there is a part of me that thrives on the big city life. I crave the diversity, energy and exposure to new ideas and perspectives that comes from life in a city like New York.
So for the last four years I’ve been living the dream – or perhaps more honestly stated – managing my conflict by living in Salt Lake City and working in New York City. But bouncing back and forth every week between Zion and Gotham has taken its toll – and I knew it was time for me to make a choice - the mountains or the City. For many reasons and considerations – the mountains had greater mass, and have prevailed. Farewell New York City…
So how does a trail runner say good bye to the city they love? They honor and respect it by experiencing it in the most raw and intimate manner possible – they run around it with people they enjoy.
Running across the Brooklyn Bridge to start day 2
On Day 2 of MRC’s Farewell to New York run Christian, Erik, Greg, Peter and I set out to circumnavigate the island of Manhattan. Our run around the island of Manhattan started by crossing into Manhattan over the historical Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge built in 1883. Running over the Brooklyn Bridge has special meaning for me in that I commute to work by bike or foot over this bridge most every day of the year. Every time I cross the bridge I feel a surge of energy and inspiration as New York City welcomes me. This day, the lyrics to New York, New York got stuck in my head…
Start spreading the news
I’m leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York
These vagabond shoes
They are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York
We then ran to South Street Seaport where our circumnavigation would begin. We chose to run in a clockwise direction. Almost immediately we passed the Staten Island Ferry. Next was Battery Park where the ferries to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty embark.
Staten Island Ferry and Lady Liberty in the distance
As we headed up the Hudson River we enjoyed stunning vistas of Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken and the Hudson Shores of New Jersey. We passed through the residential neighborhood of Battery Park City and through the fabulous neighborhoods of Tribeca and the West Village towards Midtown. The bulk of the aircraft carrier Intrepid loomed over us as we ran past it. At an adjacent pier, the USS New York was being christened. Steel from the World Trade Center towers was used in the construction of this amphibious transport ship.
Running on the Greenway and the USS New York
As we continued Uptown, we marveled at how waste disposal facilities had been turned into parks, abandoned railways converted into soccer fields, and trails carved into the cliffs along the Hudson. Several times we pretended we were home in the Wasatch as we ran on trails in Riverside Park. New York City truly abounds in recreational facilities and opportunities.
Standing in front of the Cloisters monastery
We stopped to visit the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring medieval art. After a quick visit, it was time to refuel. Along a thorough way in Spanish Harlem we found a Dominican bakery where we feasted on guava popovers – the perfect ultra food. Next we ran along the Harlem River in High Bridge Park. Then through Harlem, savoring the spacious boulevards and beautiful brownstones.
Harlem brownstones and the U.N.
Following the East River back towards the tip of Manhattan, we briefly stopped at the United Nations so we could make claim to having run outside of the United States. MRC goes international! From here we could see the Brooklyn Bridge, and knew that South Street Seaport was just a few hundred yards beyond. We picked up the pace for the final few miles and began to contemplate if we had just achieved the FKT for running around Manhattan sightseeing while eating guava popovers.
Smiles abound at the finish
As we rode back to the apartment on the subway we shared what had delighted and surprised us about our two days – and 62 miles of running through New York City; the friendliness of the people, the size and scale of the city, the cleanliness of the streets, why no one manufactures guava flavored gels, the ease of running through a city of 8.2 million people, and, that we had been able to share such a remarkable experience.