So following on from the last post, we took our internal United Airlines flight onto New York after our 4 days in Vegas. This was my first time in New York and it didn’t disappoint! We arrived at Newark about midnight and so my first glimpse of the big Apple was as we were landing, I even spotted Lady Liberty far far in the distance! Then speeding through the streets in our taxi. I say ‘speeding’ but even at 1am, the Manhattan streets were chock-a-block. I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many car horns constantly used!
The uber dropped us at our hotel, pretty much on the junction of Broadway and Times square and we checked into out 48th floor room then headed straight out into the warm autumn night. Very bizarre walking through Times Square at 2am – it was mobbed! We ended up in McDonalds, just because we were starving and what a motley crew there was in there – gangsters, transvestites, drunk tourists, security guards, kids….
We stayed 5 days in New York and managed to run once in Central park at dusk, don’t think I’ve ever seen so many runners at that time of night! The roads were shut in the park and there were dedicated runners lanes on the road anyway. We did one lap in the park which gave us a good 10k, stopping at the huge lake for some photos with the NY skyline and sunset in the background. I wish we’d had more time to go back to the park and explore properly both inside and around the perimeter of the park. Weird but I would have liked to have seen the Dakota building where Lennon was shot!!
We walked the Highline, which was beautiful, and walked and walked round all the sights – Rockefeller centre, Empire state building, Grand Central Station, Central park, 5th avenue, Greenwich Village, Washington square park, Liberty and Ellis islands, Wall street, Battery park, 9/11 memorial… I think we had a pretty good shot at all the main attractions. We saw two shows – Chicago and Miss Saigon, which were both excellent. We went to Brooklyn and watched Ed Sheeran in concert – superb!! We didn’t get to fully explore Greenwich village, Chinatown or little Italy, which only means we will have to revisit and do it then!
On the Saturday morning we were there, Steve booked us onto an organised run at Fort Hamilton Army base. It was a ‘Run for the Fallen’ and was a choice of a 5 or 10k run. We left Manhattan super early to make it in time and still got horribly lost. The subway was impossible to fathom out, we got off too early (or late) and had to try and find our way from where we had got off. We ended up in the wrong entrance for the base and I had to beg to use the loo, sorry bathroom, at a Veterans hospital. We then had to find an alternative entrance several blocks down – finally getting to the base at 09.50 – for an 09.00 start. Whoops! The organisers were great in that they let us do the 5k race (we were too late for the 10k) and we got a fabulous t-shirt (and a bagel!) and pictures of us running next to the Verrazano bridge. We asked a lady who was volunteering with the run if she could give us directions back to the tube statio. She not only gave us a lift, but also gave us a guided tour of Fort Hamilton, Fort Washington, Staten Island, took us over the bridge and then dropped us at the Staten Island ferry to be able to get the boat back to Manhattan! Thank you Nikia for being such a fabulous, friendly guide!
So our time in new York came to an end and we got the train to JFK and were very unexpectedly upgraded to upper class by Virgin Atlantic, which was a wonderful suprise for which we were very grateful! I doubt we’ll ever get the chance to fly upper class again, so this finished off our holiday nicely! Very bizarre being in bed, under a duvet on a plane drinking champagne and eating a three course dinner!
So back to reality and back to training! Our next challenge (number 12) is The Great South run in Portsmouth on 22nd October, 10 miles of fairly flat and scenic running which is well supported! Although this is challenge 12 of #12challengesin12months, we actually have another 2 challenges planned….and we are up to £816 on the sponsorship. Not much more to go and we’ll be at £1000!!! So watch this space for the next instalment! Remember, you can still sponsor us at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/holfords