A New York City Bridge Run

Good morning! I think a little rest was all I needed because one day later I’m feeling better. I worked from home yesterday which meant I was able to drink plenty of tea, take an afternoon nap, and fill my body with plenty of leafy greens.


This morning when I woke up, I still had a little scratch in my throat but otherwise felt pretty good. It’s a good thing I was feeling better because I had a fun date this morning: a double bridge run with Meghann. Meghann and Derek are once again joining us for our annual ski weekend in Vermont and decided to fly up a day early so they could enjoy New York City.

This week’s training schedule for the National Half Marathon called for a 9 mile long run this week. Since I missed my speed workout yesterday due to my cold, I wanted to make sure this run made up for it. Therefore, I spent a few minutes mapping out a route on Map My Run last night which would include the East River Park, at least one bridge, and some of the neighborhoods in between. Originally I wanted to cram the West Side Highway and High Line into the route but decided that was better left for another time.

image The weather was unseasonably warm this morning, allowing us to wear long sleeve technical shirts instead of multiple layers.


The East River path was filled with runners and walkers, many of whom waved or nodded hello. I think the warmer weather made everyone smile considering the weather we dealt with last February.


Adding the two bridges to our route was perfect since we’re both training for hilly races. I have the National Half Marathon on March 17th and Meghann is running the Flying Pig Marathon in May.


The Manhattan Bridge is 1.3 miles from start to finish and has a more gradual incline grade. There was only one other person crossing the bridge as we ran which was a refreshing change from it’s tourist and commuter filled next door neighbor, the Brooklyn Bridge.

When you come off the Manhattan Bridge you can easily follow the signs down to the waterfront parks before following them over to the Brooklyn Bridge entrance.


The Brooklyn Bridge is a very different animal in terms of running. It is 1.13 miles long but has a steeper grade, especially coming from Brooklyn, than the Manhattan Bridge.

I found this information online, regarding the two bridges’ elevation grades:

Manhattan side to tower: 86′ rise over .47 mile -> 3.5% average grade
Manhattan side to crest: 100′ rise over .63 mile -> 3.0% grade
Brooklyn side to tower: 92′ rise over .46 mile -> 3.8% grade
Brooklyn side to crest: 100′ rise over .60 mile -> 3.2% grade
Brooklyn side to tower: 79′ rise over .45 mile -> 3.5%
Brooklyn side to crest: 98′ rise over .56 mile -> 3.3%
Manhattan side to tower: 84′ rise over .48 mile -> 3.3%
Manhattan side to crest: 106′ rise over .66 mile -> 3.0%

In addition, even this morning, a weekday around 9am, there were multiple tourists posing for pictures, commuters biking to work, and other runners. In addition, they are currently doing construction on the bridge which means the path is more narrow than normal.

We had such a great time talking about she and Derek’s wedding plans during our run that it wasn’t until we finished the Brooklyn Bridge, around mile 7.5, that I really started to feel our 9:47 min per mile pace and the inclines in my legs and chest.  Luckily, she took my mind off the pain by asking me if I would be part of their wedding! What a perfect way to end a great run! We dashed between the traffic and lights heading back towards Union Square, where we turned up the speed and sprinted towards Gramercy.

After any great run there are two things necessary, a shower and food. I knew I needed some protein and fat in my breakfast so I made a yogurt bowl with 0% Chobani Plain, a sliced banana, handful of walnuts, 1/4 cup of Whole Foods granola, and a dollop of Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Almond Butter. Delicious!

003  I should probably pack for the ski trip since we’re leaving in 3 hours!

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  1. Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl February 2, 2012 / 8:42 pm

    Looks like a great run! Thanks for sharing the pics. Always neat to see other cities I have not been to yet. BTW, TJ PB with sea salt is just as good. 😉

  2. Ricole Runs February 2, 2012 / 9:45 pm

    What a beautiful route! This looks like a great run. Glad you are feeling better, just in time to have a great ski trip! Have fun!

  3. Lindsay @ Salt, Sun & Sanity February 3, 2012 / 3:57 am

    Congratulations! That looks like a really challenging run- you’re going to be all set for your half marathon 🙂

  4. Sarah February 3, 2012 / 6:02 am

    Running those bridges will definitely help for Flying Pig! I trained for the big stairstep hill but was really surprised how much the bridges felt like torture.

  5. Tasha @Tashasdish February 3, 2012 / 6:50 am

    I love runs that fly by so quickly! Have fun on your ski trip – I absolutely love skiing, it is one of my favorite winter activities.

  6. Sarah February 3, 2012 / 12:28 pm

    I just got back into running and am so excited to try a similar route. Awesome post, thanks! Don’t you just love how NYC running is not only exercise but also a great sightseeing excursion?
    p.s. what watch do you use?

  7. Life's a Bowl February 3, 2012 / 4:17 pm

    I need to start reading through some of your past posts for recommendations when visiting NYC- I’m booking a trip for my fiance and I to visit next weekend tonight!!!

    • Ashley D February 3, 2012 / 5:55 pm

      I’d love to provide suggestions! Just email me questions and where you’re staying!

  8. Josie @ happycorredora.com February 3, 2012 / 7:54 pm

    That looks a fun run. I have only run the 59th st bridge and Brooklyn. They’re always good for views and forgetting you are actually running uphill!

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