Running is, without uncertainty, one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy and active, and New York City is a haven for runners. While New York City is known for its busy streets, iconic sights, and diverse neighborhoods, the city’s running scene has been quietly flourishing over the past few years.
As a result, the Big Apple is home to some of the best races in the world. From the New York City Marathon to smaller races like the Brooklyn Half Marathon and Queens 10K, running in NYC is a dream come true for runners of all abilities.
Here are four must-do NYC races that you can’t afford to miss.
New Year’s Eve Midnight Run
NYE is the undeniably best time of year in New York. You can feel the magic in the air as people gather to count down the final seconds and embrace the promise of a new year. But how can you make this night even more special as a fitness enthusiast? New Year’s Eve Midnight Run is the perfect activity to do right in the city center.
This race is a 4-mile run through New York City’s Central Park. The run begins with a fireworks display at midnight, followed by a wintry jog—all while being accompanied by lit-up signs that light up the way and a hydration station offering cider.
It’s one of the coolest things you can do in New York!
Brooklyn Half Marathon
If you’re looking for something actually unique to do in New York, look no further than the Brooklyn Half. Whether you’ve never run a half marathon before or are just in the mood for something different to do in New York, this is the race for you!
This 13.1-mile run is a great way to burn some calories, learn about the city, and spend spring in New York City. The race has a great course because it starts in Prospect Park and finishes near Coney Island, which gives you amazing views all along the way. And if you’re looking to run it, make sure you set a reminder to sign up as soon as registration opens. It usually sells out in 24 hours, so act fast!
The New York City Marathon is one of the most prestigious events in the city and the largest marathons globally, and for a good reason: it’s an incredible experience. You’ll get to run through all five boroughs, yes — but you’ll also get to feel the excitement from the crowds which line the streets up and down the course and get to experience everything so cool about running through NYC itself.
It is an annual event organized by New York Road Runners, starting at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island. There are several ways to get there, including taking a VERY early morning bus or hopping on the Staten Island Ferry.
The race is 26.219 mi, so brace yourself for something challenging and exciting.
5th Avenue Mile
Looking for a fun run that will be over before you know it? The 5th Avenue Mile is your answer. If you are not much of a runner, the 5th Avenue Mile is really fun and easy to run. It’s only a mile long, though, which makes it perfect for beginner runners.
It was originally held on the 26th of September, 1981, and is currently organized by New York Road Runners, beginning at 80th Street and heading twenty blocks south to 60th street. The race is one of the shortest organized by NYRR. It is sponsored by two big companies—New Balance and United Airlines.
So grab some friends and family, your favorite running shoes, and enter the race!