How else would you spend New Years Eve in the city that never sleeps? The NYRR Midnight Run of course…
Are you mad?
After spending lots of time planning our holiday to New York, we were still stuck for something to do on New Years Eve. The thought of queuing in Times Square from midday just to get a glimpse of a famous musician didn’t really fill us with joy, nor did paying over the odds for a fancy dinner or trendy bar. So, after much persuading and cajoling, I convinced Alex we should take part in the New York Road Runners Midnight Run. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a 4 mile run in through Central Park. The run starts on the strike of midnight on New Years Eve. This year, almost 5000 people turned up in the bitter cold ready for an experience of a lifetime. Ok, maybe that’s a bit over the top but it certainly was a different way to see in the New Year.
It all starts at about 10pm, when the DJ starts up the music and the crowds begin to form. After a bit of boogying (mainly to keep warm), it’s time to head to the start line. It wasn’t until we began to make our way to starting pen L – the last one – that we realised just how many people were there. From elite runners, like Eilish McColgan, to walkers dressed in Christmas lights, the run was packed. As the gun fires to start the race, that’s where the fun really begins. An almost 20 minutes firework display lit up the nights sky. It turns out, Central Park is the only place in NYC allowed to have fireworks and we had a front row view.
The route is a lovely 4 mile, road run with a few gentle hills. Not that Alex would describe them that way. Central Park is surprisingly hilly for Manhattan but the “slopes” aren’t too bad at all.
Bringing the running community together
One thing I would say is the organisation and support throughout was phenomenal. How anyone volunteering to start in near 0 degree temperatures on NYE can be that peppy I will never know. All the way round the course the marshals cheered, whooped and high-fived us and it really helped to keep the spirits up. A huge thank you to anyone who helped on the night.
As if my post hadn’t given it away, I would strongly recommend anyone who gets the chance to give this a go. Whether you are a runner or not, it’s a great run and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It is also a great way to maintain running motivation when away.
Will I do it next year? No. The cost of going to the USA isn’t cheap but will I do a another NYE run? Oh yeah!