For a scenic route overlooking Manhattan with limited hills, check out running in this route! Although Queens is a short run in the ING NYC Marathon, it's my favorite! (This may or may not be because I live in this glorious borough...) The Pulaski Bridge marks the half marathon point, and running through Long Island City leads you to the ominous Queensboro Bridge. I've lived in it for six years and I am excited to share this route with you!
Names: The Pulaski Bridge and Long Island City or LIC
Location: The Pulaski Bridge connects Brooklyn (McGuinness Boulevard) to Queens (11th Street). Long Island City is located along the East River overlooking Manhattan and is adjacent to Astoria.
Entrances: To run from the Brooklyn side, take McGuiness Boulevard to the Pulaski Bridge or take the G train to Greenpoint Avenue to follow the same route. To run from the Queens side, you could be adventurous from Manhattan and run over the Queensboro Bridge! If you prefer to take the subway, take the N/Q to Queensboro Plaza, or the R/M/E to Queens Plaza. Head toward the Citi Building on 23rd street, veer right onto Jackson Boulevard and follow signs toward the Pulaski Bridge. See Marathon Map for a visual. (Same directions from the Queensboro Bridge if you choose to run it!!!)
Via The bridge had cool art!
Oh, the views! As I ran this route I remembered that this was the spot that MANY runners stopped to take pictures in the 2011 marathon, and now I know why. I think I was a bit distracted because I knew my family was in LIC waiting for me. This was a gorgeous view. The bridge is not that long, and the elevation is NOT challenging compared the the Queensboro Bridge looming ahead.
The walkway is narrow. It's just about equivalent to one side of the Queensboro Bridge's walkway! It was relatively empty (I saw four or five people total on a Sunday afternoon). It was well paved and had a cool little look out point as seen in the photo above.
You get to be a bad a** and run in multiple boroughs! If you choose to run from Manhattan on a long run, why not train it to the Bronx, run through Manhattan, run across the Queensboro Bridge into Queens, then over the Pulaski to Brooklyn!? You could knock out FOUR boroughs in one long run! I couldn't get a picture from the walkway of the Welcome to Queens sign (BOO to you DOT!), but I loved the sign as I ran into Brooklyn! The bold statement made me laugh. Only in NYC!
There is a lot of great graffiti art in LIC. This neighborhood is known for having really cool industrial buildings adorned with art; I think a lot of it is legit because it's an "artsy" neighborhood. This was on the Pulaski Bridge and I just about lost my marbles giggling...alone.
Another example of a typical industrial building in LIC:
If you want another scenic stop, head over the to Gantry Plaza State Park in LIC. This is a relatively new development (Opened in 1998). It has amazing views (Especially at night, but please don't run here at night. Too many industrial areas that are vacant.), piers going out to the water, and I believe water fountains! I'm not 100% sure, but there is a grocery store to buy water from. (Blogger fail. Guess I'll have to run back there to check out the water scene!)
Via Going out toward Manhattan
Via Running back toward LIC
Verdict: LIC and the Pulaski Bridge is a great running route if...
- You're running the ING NYC Marathon and want to get a preview of what's to come at the half marathon point!
- You want a relatively flat route.
- You enjoy views of Manhattan.
- You are good at navigation or following directions.
- You have a running partner; as I said, it's very industrial in some parts and I recommend running in the morning or afternoon.
- You carry your own fuel; there's no emergency Gel retailers that I could see ;-)
What about you? Have you run this route before? Have you ever visited the LIC waterfront? Do you think it's an advantage to preview a marathon route? TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!