Run Spot: Central Park

I know this is a fairly obviously and frequently run part of New York, but it was my first time running there so I thought I’d share the experience.

I’d always walked Central Park, so it’s been on my list to see how I fared running around the place. Julia and I were headed uptown for the Wellness in the Schools class at Pure Yoga, so we thought we’d go early, drop off our stuff and run for it. Julia led the way since I wasn’t too familiar with good running places in the park, but pretty soon we were in perfect stride.

Our Route
We walked from 77th and Amsterdam to the Natural History Museum then up a couple blocks and entered the park. We started running north to the Reservoir, ran around the Reservoir, then back down to 72nd street. We ended passing through Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon Memorial and then back up to the Natural History Museum. We walked back to Pure Yoga from there. It ended up being about 3.5 miles.

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Pros
1. “Trail” running
Not only was this a natural setting, but I loved that I wasn’t on pavement the whole time. It was fun to do some trail-esque running on grass and dirt. I’m proud to say that the dirt around the Reservoir made my sneakers look especially dusty and worn, like I’ve been at this whole running thing for years.

2. The view
Running around the Reservoir made me feel like I was in Woody Allen’s Manhattan. I was romanced by those quintessential New York views that I love so much.

3. Crowds, be gone.
Because Central Park is so large, I bet the roads don’t even feel that crowded even during ideal, peak times. I could see how the Reservoir could get a little packed at times because it’s a narrower pathway, but I loved the idea that If I stuck to the main roads it’d be smooth sailing the whole way.

Con
1. New Territory
Because the park takes you off the grid completely, I didn’t have much awareness of where I was or how far I was running. My MapMyRun app of course told me the distance, but I felt a little lost and aimless. Whenever I run on along the Hudson there are significant street landmarks where I can gain some relation to where I am from my starting point. At least Julia was there to lead the way before and after the Reservoir loop. I suppose this “getting lost” mentality could turn into a pro with a little more familiarity of the area.

With this run I also satisfied one of my goals for the week: running with someone. Julia and I both agreed it was a perfect mix of chatting, zoning out and pushing each other.

If you have any other good places to run in the park, please share them with me!

Happy running!
The Run Around Girl

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