Posted by: Josey | October 31, 2008

When to Go to New York City? Marathon Day Weekend

Whenever anyone asks me when to visit New York City—what’s the best time of year—I get pretty specific: Marathon Day weekend. It’s the perfect weather for new jeans and cozy sweaters. The leaves are changing colors in Central Park. And everyone, locals and tourists alike, feels uplifted.

I start by walking up from my West Village neighborhood to pick up a large coffee and a bagel at what I think is New York City’s best bagel shop, Murray’s Bagels. Then I walk east to pick up the 4/5/6 subway line in Union Square. I head uptown to 86th Street then I walk east again, this time to First Avenue, along the NYC Marathon route. People line the streets cheering on friends and strangers at the top of their lungs (runners wear their names or nicknames on their shirts), while music blares from speakers on every corner. When my throat gets sore, I stop into a nearby bar, such as East End Bar & Grill, to soothe it with a bloody mary or two.

Next I head west into Central Park. I crunch over dried leaves and under the fall foliage until I reach another portion of the marathon route (you’ll know which way to walk because you’ll hear all the fans). At this point, the runners are about two miles from the end of their 26.2-mile trek; they’re running out of steam, and this is when they need your support most. There’s just nothing like the feeling when runners start walking until you tell them they’re “So close! Don’t give up now!” and they start running again. Finally, I head over to the finish line by Columbus Circle to congratulate the tired, but triumphant athletes wrapped in foil, with medals around their necks.

Last weekend the New York Road Runners Club held a Marathon Kick-Off 5K race, and I covered it for iVillage.com. To watch the video, click here now.

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