New York: NYRR Midnight Run

I almost hesitate to include this in my Run50 because it’s a 4-miler instead of a 10k+. But I decided I don’t care about being strict on what kind of race I count — it’s my Run50, so who cares.

The NYRR Midnight Run starts just after midnight on January 1. While people who probably haven’t peed in hours were ringing in the New Year at Times Square, a fireworks show kicked off a 4-mile run through Central Park for over 5000 runners. I hadn’t really run since Maine (RunKeeper tells me I had one run between Maine and this one), but I had been walking a ton through New York City that day which is basically the same as training. For me, I mean.

It was cold. It had not been so cold throughout the day, and when I checked the weather I figured I shouldn’t dress heavily because I didn’t want to get too hot. But I didn’t factor in the time spent waiting for the race to start. I tried to “dance” (jumping, shoulder moving, excessive head bobbing) to the DJ and huddle near crowds for warmth; it worked okay enough. Ultimately I warmed up pretty quickly during the run and felt like I had made the smart decision. You are allowed to bring a gear bag, but it’s not really worth the hassle.

The run itself was hillier than I expected (another recurring theme in my running career). I had just been through Central Park that day on my way to the Met, and I did not recall it being that hilly.

The volunteers were amazing! They were spread out at the best places to cheer the runners on. This write-up is coming thirty days after, so there’s probably a lot I’m leaving out. Sorry to anyone who might be reading this for more insight on the route!

This was a really fun run. Night runs are just neat, and New Year’s Day runs are a refreshing way to start the year. It feels like a promise.

On a non-race related note, this was my first solo trip to New York City. I’m definitely (really definitely) an adult, but solo travel can be scary! Navigating public transportation is something that makes me very nervous, so I watched YouTube videos and made notes on how to get from my airport to the hotel (feel free to laugh). I decided to stay at the Mayfair Hotel on 49th Street. It was more expensive than staying outside the city, but I also wanted the option to walk to Central Park if I couldn’t manage the subway.

It is very important to remember that this race takes place on New Year’s Day, which means that very early on December 31 the city is preparing and closing down Times Square. Many stores in Times Square are not open. Closer to the evening, the subway doesn’t stop at the Times Square stops. My hotel had to give me proof that I was staying at the hotel so that I could show the police because they were blocking off the streets and not letting anyone through. I left my hotel pretty early to walk to Central Park and got stopped and rerouted several times by the Times Square lines.

On my way back to my hotel from the race, I almost lost my Metro Card that I had just refilled that day (idk the terminology here but added money to). When I realized it was gone (after I had picked some post-race snacks at whatever Walgreens is called there), I absolutely doubled back to see if I could find it on the garbage-covered sidewalks. Reader, I found it!

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