Springtime in New York is a wonderful time, even for a run
The last Sunday in April in New York City dawned cold, and very rainy. A good day to do the Big Apple museums, or find a quiet spot and catch up on reading. Maybe a movie. It was anything but conducive to running in Central Park.
Yet that’s exactly what my wife, Kathy, her friends Nancy Burford, Anne Meyer and Lisa Bickley, along with about 10,000 other women from around the world did that morning. It was the seventh running of the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine New York City Women’s Half-Marathon. A year earlier, at the sixth edition, there had been record heat. This year was to be cold and wet.
The four Grand Junction runners were undaunted. What’s a little weather when one has worked hard training for the past 12 months? There were all of those 5:30 a.m. alarms in the dark of winter to get in a run before work. Were they to be for naught? The answer was a unanimous no. Off they went at 8 a.m. for two-plus laps around Central Park in the rain.
The four husbands, meanwhile, opted for warmth and breakfast, where we concluded that their race would go something like this: “It’s cold and miserable and I didn’t come here to die of hypothermia. We could be shopping or eating instead. Let’s give it up.” Surely they would be back at the hotel by 9, and shopping by noon, after a leisurely breakfast. After all, they’re … how do I say this? Past their prime? Nope, that’s a minefield if I ever saw one. Much older than they look? Not bad, but still could be dangerous. Middle-aged? Accurate but they won’t want to see it in black and white. Four hot, fit, smart and mature women. That should work.
But finish they all did. They have the medals and we have the photographs of four tired and soaked women to prove it.
The race was the reason for the trip to the Big Apple, a locale not generally thought of as a vacation destination for those of us who live in western Colorado. To some it’s a city best seen on the news, as it was last weekend, when a bomb-laden car was found in mid-town Manhattan, in the block where we had hailed a cab just eight days earlier.
But, at least to some of us, it remains among the greatest locations on the planet.
I’ll admit it: I like New York. It may have been the race that prompted the trip. But that was hardly the only thing going on that weekend in New York.
What can be more fun than taking the subway to a baseball game, preferably the Yankees, but if they’re not in town the Mets will do. They did.
I’m not much of a theater guy, but the productions on Broadway are spectacular. How can you go there and not see one? We did. Some saw two.
The top of the Empire State Building may not be as spectacular as the summit of a Colorado fourteener. But the urban landscape spread out below you is a testament to what imagination, money, vision and will can create. The fog and rain when we were there only created a memorable mood for the day.
What can be better than a slice of New York pizza at one of the thousands of hole-in-the-wall eateries that are on seemingly every block on the city? I know, some people will claim Chicago pizza is the answer to that question. The debate will go on forever. As it should.
A walk up Serpents Trail in the Colorado National Monument is a great way to spend a Saturday morning. So is a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, particularly the walk back to Manhattan, and the view of the Lower Manhattan skyline.
That skyline, of course, is missing its two most dominant features, the twin towers of the World Trade Center. A visit to Ground Zero after the trek across the bridge is, as ever, moving. It was the second time I’d been there since 9/11. The exhibits are more permanent now than they were the last time I was there. It gives the area a different feel. It’s more like history now and less like news.
I could go on. That’s what makes the largest metropolitan area in the United States the great urban space that it is. There is never a lack of something to do or see. New York is one of those cities through which the currents of the world flow.
Which is why the four women are already planning for the eighth running of the New York City Women’s Half-Marathon.