NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organisation, encourages visitors to run through New York City’s five boroughs during one of the running events taking place this fall. For those not ready to tackle the TCS New York City Marathon, there are several shorter races through the city’s vibrant neighborhoods.
“Every year, runners from around the world explore New York City‘s neighborhoods street by street, race by race,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “What better way to see the five boroughs of New York City than to participate in one of our many running events.”
Runners can explore the city’s most populous borough in the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon on October 10, 2015. Starting in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, running through surrounding neighborhoods and finishing in Prospect Park, the race features live performances by local bands along the route and a finish line festival headlined by Nate Ruess, lead singer of the Grammy Award winning band Fun (runrocknroll.com/brooklyn).
Tips for making the most of the race and exploring Brooklyn:
* For a pre-race carbohydrate-heavy meal, family-owned restaurant al di la Trattoria serves Northern Italian dishes, including ravioli with red beets and a risotto of the day, and Franny’s is famed for their chewy thin-crust pizzas made with high quality ingredients.
* Fuel up for the race. Located near the starting line, Bagel Hole has been serving quintessential New York-style bagels for 30 years, and Beygl, a more recent addition to the neighborhood, serves kettle-boiled bagels.
* For runners looking to wind down after the race, Prospect Park Zoo offers nature trails, horseback riding and more. Also nearby, the Brooklyn Museum houses a huge permanent collection encompassing art from a variety of geographic locations and time periods; and the 52-acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden boasts more than 10,000 types of plants.
Run along the streets where hip-hop was born during the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Bronx 5K race on September 27. The race-within-a-race is part of the sold-out Bronx 10-Mile. (nyrr.org/races-and-events/2015/nyrr-bronx-5k)
Tips for making the most of the race and exploring the Bronx:
* The Grand Concourse, which is the Bronx’s main artery and the start of the race, is home to many venues that showcase artwork, including The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Hostos Community College’s Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture and the Bronx Documentary Center, with its photography exhibits and screenings of documentaries.
* Along the race course, runners pass two of New York City’s most iconic cultural institutions, the Bronx Zoo, the largest metropolitan zoo in the US, and The New York Botanical Garden, which features more than a million plants on 250 acres.
* For runners needing motivation to finish the race, New York City’s “real Little Italy” can be found along Arthur Avenue in the Belmont section of the Bronx. Visitors will find hand-pulled mozzarella, fresh pasta, homemade Italian desserts and more.
NYRR completes its Five Borough series this fall with the Staten Island Half Marathon on October 11, which includes views of the New York Harbor and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. New this year, NYRR will host a 5K race simultaneously running with both the 10-mile race and half marathon (nyrr.org/races-and-events/2015/nyrr-five-borough-series-staten-island-half).
Tips for making the most of the race and exploring Staten Island:
* Runners participating in one of the Staten Island races can take a walk through one of New York City’s best-kept secrets, the Staten Island Greenbelt—a network of lush parks, wetlands, open meadows and hiking trails.
* For history buffs, Fort Wadsworth is a bulwark with connections to George Washington and Revolutionary War battles and offers a spectacular panoramic view of the New York Harbor, Manhattan skyline and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
* It is easy to indulge in pizza and pasta in Staten Island after the race. A household name in New York City, Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern is loved by New Yorkers from all five boroughs for their brick-oven pies. For authentic Italian dining, Staten Island residents head to Enoteca Maria, a family-style restaurant whose chefs are Italian nonnas. Founded by the family behind Staten Island’s Joe and Pat’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, Pier 76 serves traditional and specialty pizza pies made from the freshest ingredients and features classic Italian dishes like veal marsala, chicken rollatini and eggplant parmigiana.
One of the last outdoor races of the season is in Queens on November 21 as the November Flushing Meadows 5K sends runners past some of Queen’s most iconic sites—the Unisphere, Fountain of the Planets, USTA National Tennis Center and Queens Museum (us.srichinmoyraces.org/nysprintseries).
Tips for making the most of the race and exploring Queens:
* Runners can check out where some of the world’s best athletes play at theUSTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
* Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Queens Museum features a diverse collection of art as well as the Panorama of the City of New York; the Queens Zoo is open 365 days a year, with animals such as alligators, bald eagles and pumas on exhibit; and the New York Hall of Science has more than 450 hands-on exhibitions and a pair of real NASA rockets.
* For a post-race meal, the vibrant Tortilleria Nixtamal serves authentic Mexican food with corn tortillas made fresh daily. Leo’s Latticini (aka “Mama’s”) is a neighborhood favorite known for their friendly owners, sandwiches, fresh pasta and handmade mozzarella.
Additional races and charity runs this fall: the New York Road Runners’ 5th Avenue Mile on September 13 offers runners of all ages and abilities the chance to compete for their fastest mile in NYC in front of one of the City’s most famous shopping destinations (nyrr.org/races-and-events/2015/nyrr-5th-avenue-mile); also on September 13, the 25th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Central Park celebrates cancer survivors and honors those lost to breast cancer (komennyc.org); and on September 27, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk follows the route of 9/11 firefighter Stephen Siller from Brooklyn to Manhattan (tunnel2towers.org).