Running in Central Park
July 30, 2006 12:31 PM   Subscribe

I have questions on etiquette and safety for running the 6 mile loop in Central Park.

I will be in New York in a couple of weeks and was planning on running the big loop in Central Park (East and West Drives). Besides the Official Central Park information, googling got me this page on running tips. If I'm running by myself on a weekend morning (say somewhere in the 9-noon timeframe), do I really need to worry about personal safety inside the park north of the 102nd Street Traverse (male, white, mid-sized, not carrying anything of value but a metro card)? Is this more of a caution against "venturing up there" when it's dark and there's no one else on the road, or is it yuppie paranoia? I've been to New York before (but not that area) and know how safe it generally is.

Any other comments on that article or additional etiquette tips and advice? I'll be running around a 10-minute mile pace, not trying to set any PBs or anything. What about riding the subway, post-workout and "fragrant"?
posted by cardboard to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total)
When I lived in NYC, I regularly hung out at the north end of the park (like, far north). Harlem Meer is gorgeous. In any case, I never had a problem whatsoever and felt completely safe, especially between 9 am and noon. There are always plenty of people around, especially on the loop, and even that is really irrelevant because there aren't predatory criminals lurking everywhere as some would have you believe.

So there's my vote: yuppie paranoia. Enjoy the park.
posted by The Michael The at 12:41 PM on July 30, 2006

The small white girlfriend of Splatta posting here. I run there all the time and have not ever had a problem on the loop or around the Harlem Meer path.

Etiquette: Run inside the running or bike lane when you run on the weekend. The car lanes are reserved for bicyclists on the weekends.
posted by splatta at 12:58 PM on July 30, 2006

There's really very few, if any, parts of Manhattan that are "unsafe" anymore.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:23 PM on July 30, 2006

I used to run the Loop often. It's completely safe -especially at that time. It's a very fun run. Stay in the running lane to not piss off the bicyclists. There'll be a lot of others there getting their runs in before it gets too hot.

Post workout you'll be sweaty, but the Subway will stink far worse than you. Nobody will notice. :)

It might be helpful to locate some water fountains: near E 90 St, near the Swedish Cottage, etc.

People run in both directions, but I think the majority go counter clockwise.
posted by yeti at 1:44 PM on July 30, 2006

At that time? No real worries. Enjoy.
posted by caddis at 2:05 PM on July 30, 2006

The "official" direction for running is CLOCKWISE (against traffic and bikes), but many runners aren't even aware of this, so you'll see people going in both directions (as well as idiots in bikes going against traffic, which can actually be very dangerous)
posted by sd at 2:28 PM on July 30, 2006

The New York Road Runners Club offers some tips regarding Avoiding Trouble on the Run.
posted by NYCinephile at 2:55 PM on July 30, 2006

Just keep an eye out for people crossing the loop and not looking both ways before stepping out! And while not all cyclists are crazy, there are some nuts on the loop (especially on the weekend) that think they own the place.
posted by moxyberry at 9:12 PM on July 30, 2006

Thanks for confirming my hunch and for the tips!
posted by cardboard at 5:52 PM on July 31, 2006

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