Central Park

Running Trails in Central Park

Central Park's Bridal Path during a Saturday morning run

Did you know that you don't have to run on pavement in Central Park!? It recently came to my (Jessica) attention that this is not widely known by everyone, so I'm here to inform (or remind) you about the Bridal Path. It is a little hidden gem in Central Park that offers more shade and significantly less people than the main running loop and it's dirt! Check out the picture above that I took last Saturday at 9am - there's no one on it!

Also, unlike the bridal path in Prospect Park, which is hard to run and truly for horses, the bridal path in Central Park is definitely runner friendly. Similar to its neighbor, the road, it's packed with undulating hills that are great for training. If you run the full bridal path loop, you can get almost 4 miles of trails.

If you're running counterclockwise around the park, enter the bridal path at the south-eastern corner of the reservoir. Stay on the lower trail that circles the reservoir and then as it begins to break hard left, take a hard right turn to stay on the path parallel to the road. This winds you up and across the 102nd Street crossing (along a dirt path of course) and then you can follow the path all the way down the west side of the park until the Columbus Circle exit. Here's a map of all the trails with the bridal path identified by the white dots.

Next time you're in Central Park, take the less traveled and more serene route along the bridal path. It's amazing.


An Interview with a Runner

Gail DiLisio, is our featured runner this week. We met her this summer while helping her and her partner, Cathy Bolz (on the left), train for the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon in Hampton, New Hampshire. Her dedication and commitment astound us! She's lost over 50 lbs and is on her way to PRs! 

How do you know us - Hot Bird Running?
I heard about Hot Bird Running from the Lean Green Bean blog

What are your current running goals? Are you training for anything? 
My goal is to gain speed and be more efficient when I run, especially on long runs.  I am currently training for the More/Fitness Half Marathon in April.

Who or what inspires you to run?
I get inspiration to run from the challenge of improving my run, whether it be technique, speed etc.  The chance to improve is perfect motivation for me.

What is your favorite running route/place to run?
I love to run anywhere outside, even if it is freezing out.  My favorite route is Central Park - it is the perfect blend of rolling hills along with great people watching!

Who is your favorite person to run with and why? 
My favorite person to run with is my partner, Cathy.  We both started running 2 years ago when we each lost 50 pounds and found running a perfect way to stay fit and provide variety with our workouts.

What is the best piece of running advice you ever received and who was it from?
Well, the best advice came from Jessica Green, of course!  She taught me that if am tired on long runs, I can keep my legs moving just by pumping my arms harder.  Believe me, I have used this technique plenty of times!

What is your favorite running gear/piece of clothing?
My Garmin 310 has been great for training and tracking miles.