When someone says they are doing the last ten miles or simply the last ten, any New York City local runner knows exactly what that means.
The last ten refers to the last ten miles of the New York City Marathon course (or approximately 16.2 miles in).
16.2 miles of the NYC Marathon course coincides roughly with the point where the runners have crossed the 59th Street Bridge (which can be pretty dismal) and made their way into the fourth NYC Borough: Manhattan. There is a certain exhilaration of arriving in Manhattan. For starters, the crowds are enormous and the cheering is cacophonous. It’s like a thousand people are all there at that magical moment in time to cheer for just you! That’s how it feels. But I digress.
Doing the last 10 with friends or running groups a week or two before the NYC Marathon is a tradition among local marathon runners in New York City. Even if you start at 79th and First Avenue like I did on Sunday, I would say “I ran the last ten, but started a mile in.” Similarly, if one cuts a mile off at the end of the ten (by, for example, not exiting the park and running on Central Park South), she or he would say, I ran the last ten, but I cut off a mile or I cut out at nine.
So, I did the last ten on Sunday, but I started a mile in. I thought I’d share the run (actually the walk/run) with you.
First Avenue, above 100th Street, commonly known as East Harlem or Spanish Harlem:
some street art along the way:
Willis Avenue Bridge goes from Manhattan to the Bronx. The 20 Mile mark is along the bridge.
The banners are up in the Bronx:
You’re only in the Bronx a short time (unlike Brooklyn). And then it’s the Madison Avenue Bridge and back to Manhattan.
And then you’re on Fifth Avenue in Harlem. Some of the buildings are really interesting here, as are the people. Don’t be surprised to hear some Gospel singing and cheering on Sunday.
At around 124th street, you go around Marcus Garvey park. There are some lovely renovated brownstone buildings as well as this church.
And now, we’re back to Fifth Avenue for a while.
Central Park begins at Fifth Avenue and 110th Street, but you remain on Fifth Avenue and don’t enter the park until 90th Street. But you know it’s next to you. You can feel the excitement.
Entrance to the park at 90th Street (aka Engineer’s Gate).
Running in Central Park for me is like coming home.
At the bottom of Central Park, you exit the park for a short while, to run on Central Park South.
Central Park South:
Re-enter the park at Eighth Avenue by Columbus Circle.
There are the bleachers. Can you hear the cheers?
Next you’ll be going through the finish line and the New York City Marathon will be yours!
Good luck to everyone on Sunday!