Thursday, January 3, 2013

Why I Love The Queensboro Bridge

The first time I went over the Queensboro Bridge, I almost cried. I was on my bike, and halfway up the bridge I had to stop and walk. I was petrified of running over it during the Marathon, but after a little pity party, I decided the only option was to run over the bridge. Even if it was awful, I'd know what to expect come Marathon Day. And to my surprise, it wasn't bad-- I even liked it better than the rolling westside hills of Central Park. Now, I run the Queensboro at least twice a month, and it's one of my favorite routes. Here's why:

I see you enough as it is.
It's not Central Park. I love Central Park, but I do all of my long runs in the park. My 'bridge loop' is 6 miles on the dot, so not a 'long' run, but a really good midweek longer run. And it's nice to mix things up.

A Doable Challenge. The bridge itself is only about 3.3 miles. And that's there and back, so roughly 1/2 of that is downhill. Garmin tells me my elevation gain over the bridge is 372 feet, and my elevation loss is 237 feet. A very doable challenge. 

Roosevelt Island, right in the middle. Also, not my photo
Forward Progress. The bridge spans from Manhattan to Queens. It's very clear where you are on the bridge and how much further you have to go- Roosevelt Island is situated roughly halfway between the two boroughs, so it's a good spot to focus on as a 'mini-goal.' Get to Roosevelt Island, and you've got a downhill coming up.

Well, not today. But proof you're high enough up to see the skyline.
Free View Of Manhattan.  Rooftop bar, Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, living in a Penthouse... you're going to have to pay to see NYC's famed skyline from any of these locations. Sure, there are other locations you can look out on Manhattan, like the Brooklyn Bridge, but you're going to have to battle the massive hoards of tourists- especially not fun if you're running. The Queensboro Bridge is NEVER crowded. (except maybe for Marathon Sunday! ;))

Inspiration while going up.
People Watching and Other Oddities. There are some interesting people on the bridge. And unlike in Central Park, most of them are not runners. One lady I pass every time I run the bridge sings opera as she walks her bike up the incline (catch her around 8am), another one is always reading a book on her way to Queens, and I always make it a goal to pass one struggling biker on the uphill ;)

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