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Not For Tourists Guide to NYC SPORTS TM

2nd Edition


Running Unleashed In The Empire


ut before dawn, neither rain nor sleet nor snow deterring you from your runs. Heat, humidity or frigid cold serve as constant companions and reminders that you are wired differently from other people. It’s a given, runners are a strange lot but the Empire seems to breed a special kind of crazy. Who else would endure the hardships of urban guerrilla running at its most grueling? Whether it’s dodging swerving taxicabs, speeding delivery trucks or meandering tourists, running in New York City provides unique challenges that constantly test your mettle and determination. But madness also unleashes certain unexpected benefits. If you’ve seen the sun set at dusk behind the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park while pigeons mill about pecking near your ankles as you tighten your shoelaces. If you’ve silently stretched, visualizing a long run along the West Side Highway that will take you past Tribeca, Soho, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, the USS Intrepid, the Upper West Side, through Riverside Park, culminating at the George Washington Bridge only to turn right around and do it all over again the other way. If you’ve run through Central Park in winter, spring, summer or fall or run across the metallic tentacles that reach out to every direction from Manhattan and link to the different boroughs—and different challenges. If you’ve discovered unknown corners of Prospect Park or witnessed the local characters stumbling along the Coney Island boardwalk while going out for a weekend jog. Then you know that the Empire rewards the brave, the valiant… The Empire Tested. And we’re here to prove it.



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New York City: A Runner’s Paradise Found The Empire is best appreciated from the streets. It’s no coincidence that its citizens’ preferred means of transportation have always been their feet. So whether your terrain of choice is road, trail or track you’ll find an abundance of options that ensure that you get your fix. The Empire allows you to tailor your runs according to your fitness level and goals. Of course, each of these will come with their particular New York City twists and unexpected surprises. But you wouldn’t expect any less from the Empire.

Parks When setting out to immerse yourself in the running culture of New York City, its famous public parks are the natural place to start. Central Park, Prospect Park and many others provide a welcome sanctuary of green grass and fresh air in the midst of the Empire’s grey and gritty urban sprawl. You can join the masses and run the challenging loops framed by the imposing urban skylines. Or you can break off on your own and discover the trails that snake their way through lesser known nooks and crannies amongst the trees and beaten paths. Day or night, on weekdays or on weekends regardless of the type of workout they are looking for—speed, hills or distance—the Empire’s road warriors take over the paths and trails and make the parks their own.

Rivers and Bridges The Empire has conveniently provided runners with two rivers: the Hudson and the East River that offer taunting routes where you can zone in on your pace and your own soundtrack as you watch the tugboats, water taxis and cruise ships make their way along the water with you. The West Side Highway and the East Side Running Path provide flat courses ideal for long or short training runs. New York’s iconic bridges are matched in character only by the diversity of the challenges they offer runners. The Brooklyn Bridge was one of the first suspension bridges in the United States and since its construction it has captured the imagination of filmmakers, photographers and painters alike. Today, runners weave their way around tourists as they climb up and down its deceiving incline. The noisy Manhattan Bridge provides a less crowded alternative to its bustling neighbor downriver but the subway trains rumbling underfoot can rattle the nerves of even the most hardened runners. The Williamsburg Bridge is perhaps the most challenging span across the East River. Your legs and thighs will be feeling the burn long after you’ve arrived at one of the trendy cafés on either side of the river.

New York City: A Runner’s Paradise Found

New York City: A Runner’s Paradise Found Tracks


To give your legs some relief from running on the asphalt you can always take a break and run on one of the many soft tracks provided by the Empire. The Riverside State Park track and the East 6th Street track are but two of the many tracks to be found across the city.

New Yorkers are, by nature, a competitive bunch. With more than 50 races in the city each year, runners looking to challenge themselves or others are sure to find one that suits their needs. Distances range from a one-mile run down Fifth Avenue to half marathons in each of the five boroughs, with every distance in between represented. When you include the race up the Empire State Building stairs, it’s easy to conclude there is a race for everyone, as far as the Empire is concerned.

Running Clubs Being a Mecca for runners certainly has its advantages. The Empire counts many running clubs and organizations that provide information, support and services for every level of runner from the elite racer to the recreational enthusiast. It’s also a good way for runners to meet and network while enjoying a social run. Additionally, with Nike+ technology, you can join the world’s largest online running community. Check out for more info and to learn more about the new Nike+ GPS App for iPhone.

26.2 Running Of course the Empire is also home to the largest marathon in the world, where every November, runners representing hundreds of countries and all competitive levels undertake the 26.2 mile journey through the five boroughs. From its mythical beginnings in 1970 when 127 people ran four times around Central Park to today’s transborough foray into the Empire’s multicultural mosaic. It’s a journey that has always felt larger than life, much like the Empire itself.

Nike RUN NYC Training Niketown NY 6 East 57th Street, NYC Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 6:30PM Saturdays @ 9:00AM

Paragon Sports 867 Broadway (@18th Street), NYC Wednesdays @ 6:30PM

Top Contenders

Meb Keflezighi Career Highlights: 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist; 2009 ING New York City and USA Marathon champ; 2009 USA Half-Marathon champ; 3-time U.S. 10,000m champ (2000, ‘02, ‘04); 3-time USA 12 km XC champ (‘01, ‘02, ‘09); 6-time U.S. 15 km champ; 4-time NCAA champion; American 10,000m & 20 km record holder. Keflezighi made history in 2009 by winning New York in a personal-best time of 2:09:15. The win gave Keflezighi the USA Marathon Championship and his fourth national title of 2009, and he became the first American man to win in NYC since Alberto Salazar’s 1982 victory in 2:09:29. Also in 2009, in January he won the USA Half-Marathon title for the first time in his career in a then personal best time of 1 hour 1 minute 25 seconds, and in February he captured his third men’s national 12-kilometer cross country title.

Dathan Ritzenhein Career Highlights: 2008 Olympic Trials - Men’s Marathon runner-up; 2005 & 2008 USA 12 km Cross Country champion; 2003 NCAA XC Champion; U.S. men’s 5,000m record holder; 2004 NCAA Outdoor 5,000m runner-up; 2001 World XC Junior bronze medalist Thirteen years after Bob Kennedy set the American record of 12:58.21 in the 5,000 meters at the Weltklasse Zurich meeting, Ritzenhein smashed that record by almost two seconds at the same event on August 28, 2009 by finishing third in 12 minutes 56.27 seconds. It was an almost 20 second personal best for Ritzenhein, making him only the third American ever to run under 13 minutes. Also in 2009, Ritzenhein finished sixth in a personal best time of 27:22.28 in the 10,000 meters at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Berlin, Germany, posting the best time ever by an American at a World Championships, and the fastest time by an American in 2009.

Top Contenders

Shalane Flanagan Career Highlights: 2008 Olympic Games 10,000m bronze medalist; 2008 Olympic Trials 10,000m champion and 3rd in 5,000m; 2007 Visa Indoor champion; 2007 USA Indoor 3,000m champion; Two-time USA Outdoor 5,000m champion (‘05, ‘07); Two-time USA XC 4km champion (‘04, ‘05); Two-time NCAA XC champion (‘02, ‘03); 2003 NCAA Indoor 3,000m champion; 15-time NCAA All-American Flanagan entered the 2009 outdoor season as the American record holder outdoors in the 5,000 and 10,000 and indoors in the 3,000 and 5,000. She is the second American woman ever to win an Olympic medal at 10,000m. Making her debut at 10,000 meters, Flanagan smashed the American record by 17 seconds, running 30:34.49 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. New York is Flanagan’s first marathon, following a 1:08:36 half-marathon performance in September.

Tim Nelson Career Highlights: 3rd at USA Outdoor Champs 10,000m; 2nd at 2009 USA Cross Country Champs; 2007 Big Ten 5,000m champ; 2005 Big Ten 10,000m champ; 5th in 10,000m at 2007 NCAA Champs Nelson has enjoyed a breakthrough 2009 season highlighted by his second-place finish at the USA Cross Country Championships and qualifying for the 2009 World Outdoor Championships team with his third-place finish in the 10,000m at the USA Outdoor Championships in June. Nelson also found success at the 2009 Payton Jordan Invitational in early May, winning the 10,000m in a personal best time of 27:36.99, which was the second-fastest time by an American that year. In 2009, Nelson additionally posted a new personal best in the 5,000m when he finished second in 13:24.87 at Heusden. Like Flanagan, New York is Nelson’s first 26.2-mile journey.


NIKETOWN NEW YORK 6 East 57th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues 212.891.6453


11.4 9AM–9PM 11.5 9AM–10PM 11.6 8AM–10PM 11.7 9AM–8PM 11.8 8AM–9PM



Expo to Niketown New York—it’s free!

Personalize select race-day apparel and design your own footwear.

NIKE+HEADQUARTERS Nike+ Tech Talks @ 12PM daily on the Third Floor. Sign up for the Nike+ Race Day Challenge, then sync your 26.2 after the race for great prizes.

PACE BRACELET Pick up a coursespecific pace bracelet to help you finish on time.

PHOTO BOOTH Practice your finish TRIAL the LunarGlide+2 or LunarEclipse+. Learn about the benefits of Dynamic Support.

26.2 NYC PRODUCT Remember the race with commemorative apparel, footwear and Nike+ SportBand.

line pose to share with fans & friends. More great info in foldout map in the back of this guide

Running Retail NYC NIKETOWN NY


6 E 57th St _ 212.891.6453 Whether you’re a weekend warrior or someone more committed, like Meb Keflezighi, come to Niketown to outfit your running life.

867 Broadway at 18th St _ 212.255.8036 For sports enthusiasts around the world, Paragon Sports is considered the benchmark of quality for all types of sports equipment and clothing since 1908.

21 MERCER 21 Mercer St _ 212.226.5433 The first stand-alone Nike Sportswear store of its kind. Shop global exclusives and explore NIKEiD customization with a Bespoke experience.

BOWERY STADIUM 276 Bowery _ 212.925.0300 The new home of the Bowery Stadium sports programs, including the NYC Bridge Runners. The functional basement locker room is also a meeting and design space.

MARATHON EXPO Jacob Javits Convention Center 11th Avenue at 35th St The Expo is full of things to see, learn, and buy whether you’re signed up for the big race or not—and it’s free and open to the public. Stop by the Nike booth to learn about Nike +, receive Nike + member benefits and pick-up the NYC LunarGlide2+.

NY RUNNING COMPANY 10 Columbus Circle _ 212.823.9626 1059 Third Avenue _ 212.223.8109 Getting you in the right gear is important to us. We are passionate about fitness. It is our mission to educate runners on all aspects of the sport and support local running events and care for our communities.

THE SPORTS AUTHORITY 845 3rd Ave at 51 St _ 212.355.9725 Our customers are passionate about the sports they pursue—they want to run faster, jump higher, hit the ball harder, carry their team to victory, and more. We understand the passion that comes with being dedicated to a goal.

EKIN’s Guide To Empire Tested Gear

Stacy Tarver, Runner & Nike Tech Rep LunarEclipse+ The LunarEclipse+ is the most premium running shoe on the Lunarlon platform. For starters, it has a full inner bootie that’s snug, and Flywire that holds the foot in. In addition to Nike’s Dynamic Support wedge, the shoe also features a new floating heel clip that wraps under the insole. As you land, the clip squeezes according to pressure, adding support where needed. In the forefoot, the firm Lunarlon carrier is cut away, allowing for soft foam core material to come through. Even more, the sockliner features a layer of memory foam closest to the foot, with stable material underneath, adding to the soft-yet-supportive feel. All in all, the LunarEclipse+ is my “treat” shoe for weekend long runs up the West Side Highway and over the GWB, or anytime I want extra cushioning and support.

Swift Y-Back Bra I used to suffer from extreme sports bra chaffing; any run 9+ miles left me wincing. The Swift Bra has been an answer to my prayers. It is a really lightweight, supportive bra with an element of shape to it (read: no “uni-boob”), truly engineered for the movement of runners. The back of the bra is made of a Dri-FIT mesh material for increased airflow and sweat evaporation. The front is made up of layers of different Dri-FIT materials, including a modesty panel that is extra soft against the skin. The real benefit is in the bra’s band: here, the materials are soft, thin, and very effective at wicking moisture, so that the skin stays dry and protected from chaffing. The Swift Y-Back bra provides a high level of support for A to B cup runners, and for the highest-level of support for A to D cup runners, it’s available in X-Back and U-back as well (both with adjustable straps).

EKIN’s Guide To Empire Tested Gear

Bruno Garcia, Runner & Nike Tech Rep LunarGlide 2+ The LunarGlide2+ is made for the runner who is looking to shed seconds off his or her time while not sacrificing cushioning or quality of fit. That’s all of us, right? This shoe leads the charge for busting the paradigm that you’re either a neutral runner or an over-pronator. Built on the idea that every runner’s stride is different and needs varying amounts of support and cushioning, the LunarGlide+2 utilizes Nike’s Lunarlon system, made up of an outer carrier which provides structure and durability while the inside showcases a light, responsive and resilient core foam offering up premium cushioning with minimal weight. A Dynamic Support wedge further keeps runners efficient, and Flywire locks down the foot effortlessly. This shoe has good looks, and it’s built to serve.

Men’s Tempo Shorts Whether you like them short or long, the Men’s Tempo collection has you covered. From the 2” split leg to the 3” track to the 7” 2-in-1 to the 9” running short, Nike has what every guy needs. If you’re like me, then your selection reflects what kind of run you have going on. For my faster days and race day, I run in the 2” split leg Tempo, providing great range of motion and minimal weight when I want to run hard. Most days, I run in the 3” track short—the perfect length for my stride. For lighter workout days or when I am hanging out post workout, I take off with my 7” 2-in-1 or my 9” Tempo shorts. A call out for all lengths is the waist band, which has a softer fabric that wraps around the inside to eliminate chaffing. For music lovers, there is also an internal pocket to hold an iPod nano, as well as an additional back zipper pocket in the 2”, 3” and 7” shorts for holding gels, keys, metro cards, or cash for that great smelling bakery at mile 17.


Runner Profiles


The RUN NYC 26.2 Training program provides a comprehensive training plan, including long runs and track workouts for runners competing in popular fall marathons including NYC, Marine Corps, Philadelphia, and Nike Women’s Marathon. Each week, the group receives a detailed email outlining their goals and tips for the upcoming race. The group meets twice a week on Wednesdays at Paragon Sports for Speed Training and on Saturdays around NYC for long runs. The program cost is $26.20, with proceeds going to the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club.

What makes the marathon in New York City different from any other marathon in the world? New York City crowds most definitely make the Marathon different from any other in the world. The fans—both locals and tourists—are just amazing sources of support. As you run through every mile, you get a glimpse at each unique neighborhood and the people that live there. From the firemen at local fire departments, to students in school choirs, to local musicians, to the hardcore New York natives, it seems like everyone comes out for marathon day and shows his or her support. You truly feel special to be a part of it.

Runner Profiles

Running NYC with Brianna Ferrigno Nike 26.2 NYC Runner

What are the specific challenges facing a first time marathoner in NYC? Staying focused and relaxed despite all the excitement and anticipation leading up to the big day was definitely a challenge for me. The race is huge—over 40,000 runners—and the excitement from the runners and fans the days preceding is palpable! I had to remind myself not to get too carried away with festivities before the marathon and to keep pre-race jitters in check!

What landmark is the telltale sign that tells you the worst is over? Passing Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem is definitely a good sign that the worst

is over. You hit the park right before you get onto Fifth Avenue, and you just know that the final stretch is near. By that time you’ve already made it through each of the boroughs and the Manhattan crowds really start to kick in.

What is the one thing every marathoner in NYC should know? Embrace the fans—smile, slap high-five when you need encouragement, and let their support help carry you through. Also, wear your name on your shirt— fans will cheer you on by name!

Runner Profiles


What is your favorite borough to run through/ train in? Without a doubt Manhattan!

What landmark is the telltale sign that tells you the worst is over? Engineers’ Gate, the entrance to Central Park aka my second home in New York City during training season July-November. When I enter the park I know I am in the home-stretch.

New Yorkers always look for hidden gems, what are little known routes for a great short training run? The 1.5 mile loop around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is a running path you will see me on a few times a week. It’s a great warm-up or post long run route and sometimes I jump on the loop during my long runs for a change of scenery and to give my knees a break from the cement. The incredible views around the reservoir are amazing.

Runner Profiles

Running NYC with Aileen Cordaro Nike 26.2 NYC Runner

What’s your favorite bridge to run over? Without a doubt, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. With Frank Sinatra singing ‘New York, New York’, the NY Fire Department boats shooting red, white and blue water, the view of Manhattan, which seems so close but is so far, and knowing there is only 1 time a year you can run across this bridge with thousands of other runners, the Verrazano is most definitely my favorite bridge to run over during the Marathon.

This is New York, so we need to ask…Where will you eat the night before/after the race? My pre-race meal is always spaghetti and clams. I will be enjoying my Marathon Eve meal at Bella Luna (89th and Columbus) with my family aka fans.

Bridge Runners

Runner Profiles

NYC Bridge Runner Mike Saes What makes a marathon in New York City different from any other marathon in the world? Not only does it have the most participants, but it has the most cheerleaders as well.

What is your favorite borough to run through/ train in? I dig planet Brooklyn because of its connections and its diversity.

What are the specific challenges facing a first time marathoner in NYC? They may try to go too hard in the beginning because of the high energy and fanfare. They need to save it for the long run. Also, post-race is a cattle call. Be prepared to be stuck in the park for a bit.

If there were a “Heartbreak Hill” in the NYC, what would it be? 5th Ave. You think you are almost done because of Central Park—but that’s where the lactic acid kicks in.

What landmark is the telltale sign that tells you the worst is over? The mile 26 marker, then you can sprint the final .2.

New Yorkers always look for hidden gems, what are little known routes for a great short training run? Any bridge is a hill. If you can run two of them, you just ran two big hills.

Runner Profiles

NYC Bridge Runner Jess Zapotechne What are the specific challenges facing a first time Marathoner in New York City?

South Williamsburg, Lower East Side and Chinatown. Not to mention the view of the City from the bridges.

First Avenue was rough in my first NYC race. You’re coming off the Queensboro Bridge and hitting a long straight away. My recommendation to anyone running is DON’T WEAR HEADPHONES! You’re missing out on a truly great experience if you can’t hear the crowds cheering you on, or if you’re tuning out your surroundings. You will need the energy from everyone around you.

I have grown to love the bridges that were first the hardest, because you feel like you have accomplished something when you are no longer afraid of them. I love the Williamsburg, the Queensboro Bridge and recently the George Washington. But there’s only one time when you can run the Verrazano and that is something special!

What’s your favorite bridge to run over? The bridges are the BEST training you can get. A favorite training run is a loop from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Williamsburg Bridge. You’ll see Brooklyn and Manhattan and get a nice six to seven miles in. Along the way you’ll enjoy neighborhoods such as Dumbo, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn Navy Yard,

This is New York, so we need to ask…Where will you eat the night before/after the race? Most likely I’m going to be feasting on some Italian food the night before— Il Porto in Brooklyn Navy Yard is delicious! I will also be carbing up on some beer. After the Marathon I want a lobster roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound!

Runner Profiles

NYC Bridge Runner Kai Reagan What makes a marathon in New York City different from any other marathon in the world? It’s NYC. There is no other City like it in the world. The bridges, the Boroughs, the diversity and the best part: the view.

What is your favorite borough to run through/ train in? I like starting in Manhattan heading into Brooklyn then heading up to Queens and then back home to Manhattan. A little bit of everything…

What are the specific challenges facing a first time marathoner in NYC? The challenge will be to hold tempo against other runners and not get caught up in what they are doing and to focus on what you need to do to better your experience.

If there were a “Heartbreak Hill” in the NYC, what would it be? The Queensboro Bridge, it makes you or it breaks you.

What landmark is the telltale sign that tells you the worst is over? Entering the Park you know the end is near and the crowd drives you to a place you’ve never been before.

New Yorkers always look for hidden gems, what are little known routes for a great short training run? Run a bridge…”buy the ticket, take the ride.” It’s something else truly. Short and sweet.

Runner Profiles

NYC Bridge Runner Robin Arzon What is your favorite borough to run through/ train in?

What’s your favorite bridge to run over?

Along the water in Brooklyn. A close second is the Lower East Side early in the morning when the streets are open, cars are quiet, and the bodegas are just waking up.

Unquestionably, the Williamsburg Bridge. The views are insane, it’s great for hill repeats, and, unlike the BK Bridge, it’s not overly-crowded. You also get a great mix of Williamsburg hipsters, Latinos, and Hasidic Jews getting their bike/run/ walk on. Some nights when the subway is rushing by and I catch a glimpse of new graffiti that speaks to me, I swear I leave my heart up there.

What are the specific challenges facing a first time marathoner in New York City? I think it’s figuring out a reasonable race pace. Also, it’s tuning out “advice” that might not pertain to or work for you. As a first time marathoner, I’m supremely grateful to have people guide me through the training process, but ultimately you have to do what is right for you.

What is the one thing every marathoner in NYC should know? It’s a privilege to live here. It’s an honor to run it.

This is New York, so we need to ask…Where will you eat the night before/after the race? Pre-race: Il Mulino. Post-race: Hill Country BBQ.




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If‌ A New York City Runner’s Manifesto If

you can brave the urban jungle and its mechanical beasts as they roar and gnash their teeth, and never cower, never flinch. If you can stand up to the Empire State Building as it taunts you in the distance and never allow the shadows cast by the Brooklyn Bridge to intimidate or break you. If you can avoid pedestrian, bike messenger, and tourist alike and recognize these nuisances as the price you have to pay for running in the greatest city in the world.


you can make your way around crater-sized potholes without twisting an ankle. Or cross busy avenues and streets without breaking stride. If you can climb the impossibly steep Williamsburg Bridge or take on the headwinds along Riverside Park and accept both these temporary obstacles without a word of complaint. If you can dodge the pigeons as they swoop down towards you or step over unknown substances of dubious origins without the slightest pause for thought.

If you can push yourself to do a second or third loop of Central Park long after every muscle has begged you to stop, ignoring the discomfort and the pain.

If you can tolerate the unbearable humidity of summer as the heat rises from the pavement or the frigid cold of winter as the wind sweeps in over the rivers. If you can defy the naysayers and the skeptics and through the strength of your will make believers out of them.

If you can laugh in the face of time, heading out

before the sun has risen in the morning or returning home long after it has set at night. If you can take whatever New York throws at you and manage to maintain more than a modicum of grace under pressure. If you can rise up to each and every challenge with the same grit and determination as the city you are running in—you are truly a New York runner, you have made it and what’s more you are Empire Tested my friend. Inspired by Mr. Rudyard Kipling


NFT + Nike Guide to Running  

The second of four sports guides produced in collaboration with Nike, the NFT Guide to Running showcases all you need to know about running...