New York City streets and park paths host hundreds of runners racing towards finish lines every summer. So which races should you pin on a number for?
We turned to Ashley Diamond, the blogger behind Healthy Happier Bear, and a New York City race connoisseur, to help us sort through the deluge on Active.com. Diamond knows the city’s races like the soles of her feet—she ran ten in 2011 alone and has finished 36 in the past five years. That’s a whole lot of sneakers (and pedicures).
Here are her picks for five races you don’t want to miss this summer, and slightly beyond, some of which she’s done before, and some that she’s seriously excited about this season.
1. NYCRuns Firecracker 10K
I’ve never done a race on Roosevelt Island before, and a morning 10k seems like the perfect way to kick off a day of beer, barbecue, and fireworks! July 4, Roosevelt Island, $30, www.nycruns.com
2. Central Park Track Club’s Founders 5K
Doing a 5k is the perfect race distance in the heat of summer, and I love the shady route in Prospect Park. Plus scoring a New Balance technical t-shirt makes the $22 sign-up a steal. July 28, Prospect Park, $22, www.nycruns.com
3. NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile
This one takes me back to my elementary school days: racing against the clock, and running your heart out for a mile, just to break your personal best. Plus you’re enjoying the Fifth Avenue scenery from the Met down to Grand Army Plaza. September 25, Manhattan, $30–45, www.nyrr.org
4. Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run
This will be my first attempt at a mud run! I’m thrilled to have the chance to try it locally—and that there’s a 5k and 10k option. September 30, Pelham Bay Park, $55–75, www.downanddirtymudrun.com
5. NYRR 5-Borough Series: Staten Island Half Marathon
Gorgeous views and a primarily flat out-and-back course greet runners after a scenic ferry ride over to Staten Island. It’s reminiscent of the trip many of us will take a month later for the New York City Marathon! October 7, Staten Island, $20–60, www.nyrr.org —Lisa Elaine Held