I’ve been to Governors Island a few times for work and fun, but had never run on the island. I was watching the weather in 2017, but from a vague recollection-it had sold out before I could register. Not sure why I didn’t otherwise.
TL;DR: It was great,and I’d absolutely do it again.
The Ferry is at the Maritime Building, which is soon to also be a hotel, just like it was in 2015. I have a better understanding of the ferries, and know they won’t be going anywhere. In fact, Seastreak just moved there as part of alleviating the crowds at Pier 11 since NYC Ferry had expanded their service there. My getting to a downtown race game is off so I was there way early and watched the fog burn off. I’d rather be there with time to kill than stress about missing a ferry any day so this was time well spent.
I feel bad for race organizers-and anyone trying to plan events this summer – COVID has made everything a game of musical chairs and NYCRuns and NYRR, among others, are rolling with it as best they can. As NYCRuns said themselves on the race page:
Please be aware that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all aspects of this race are extremely subject to change.
I was fine with that this summer, but don’t think I could have rolled with it before I was vaccinated, which is part of why I didn’t race until June.
There were a lot of moving pieces as to waves, corrals, start times but in the end it ended up like Before Times-one start for the 5K at 8:30 followed by the 10K at 9. A 7:30 Ferry meant lots of time to pick up the shirt, check a bag, etc. and was wonderfully not rushed. It was a beautiful morning to catch up with friends and just people watch.
NYCRuns’ “new” course has been the same for a few years – it’s the same one Darlene ran in 2018. I really enjoyed it, although that loop back into the center is mildly disorienting when you’re not familiar with the island’s layout, which I’m really not. As Darlene mentioned, there isn’t really any shade so although it was very good weather for July (low-mid 70s) it was warm as there also wasn’t a harbor breeze. I amend my above, I probably wouldn’t do this in July or August as I think it has a not insignificant chance of being absolutely miserable.
I ran with! Mo for the whole race, so there weren’t many photos. I loved what we saw though: war of 1812 forts, glamping tents, the lavender fields, the hills/slide, the farm (alas goats, sheep sleep in) and of course Lady Liberty.
I have no idea what that time clock relates to. Not that I care, but it doesn’t match gun or chip, so I guess they started it before we did. We were surprisingly close to last given our pace. There was a woman a few feet back for most of the last half mile and I wondered if she was content to chill there or was going to try and pass us. She didn’t, so guess we were just running the same pace.
There were lots of good things about this race, but my absolute favorite was running with friends. Bruce, Mo and I trained for the marathon together and while this was a much shorter distance, it was in some ways more meaningful after a long year of mostly running solo. We all got the blue part of red, white and blue down! And yes, that is indeed my beloved Frozen Penguin shirt. Had to honor NYCRuns race history.
After we finished, the plan was to explore the public art, but the installations weren’t yet open. Instead we took the long way back to the ferry via Castle Williams. The building has such a long and fascinating history and yes, there’s a reason for the unicycle sign at its entrance.
All in all a fun race morning.
The popular argument against NYC Runs among NYC runners is that their races are more expensive than NYRR, which is true. To me that’s like the argument that your local book store is more expensive than Amazon — there’s a (good) reason for that. NYC Runs is a small business. I sometimes love running with 250 instead of 4000 of my BFFs, even if there’s a legit risk of coming in last. Plus I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for them because their Frozen Penguin was my first race.
I’m glad they got the go ahead for a Brooklyn Half/Marathon in spring because there’s definitely enough demand among runners here for another race, or six. Plus the NYC Runs’ Brooklyn Half goes past Wegmans which.. how can you not?
I love that they mailed the bibs, making for one less to do before the race, but I wish they’d also mail the shirts. Luckily a friend was checking his bag and I tossed mine in there as I wouldn’t have wanted to run with it. I don’t think I’ll ever run in it, but I’ll hang onto it for a beach/pool cover up like the Zooma tank from Bermuda.