NYRR Emerald Nut Run: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Happy Happy New Year’s everyone! Last night at the stroke of midnight, I was with 6000+ people in Central Park for the Emerald Nut Run.  This is the 4th or 5th year I’ve gone out for the run and I get to go to NYC for at least 24 hrs.  I drove to Philly with my parents on Friday and yesterday, my dad drove us in to NYC (I was pro megabus or bolt bus but somehow driving with 3 people was cheaper).  My parents headed over to the NYRR store to sign themselves up (I’d be signed up since September) and pick up bibs, shirts and hats.  They kicked me to the curb around Times Square to see if there were any cheap Broadway Show tickets at the discount ticket stop.  We found nothing good so I met up with my parents at the South Street Seaport for lunch.  Fast forward through seeing the Picasso drawings at the Frick Collection, mass at St. Joseph’s in Yorkville on the UES, dinner at Intimo and watching some of the bowl games on TV, we changed and started heading to Central Park around 11:15.

My parents are training for the Surf City Half in February (I’m jealous as they’ll see some sun and warm temperatures) so mom wanted to try and get 7 miles total.  Our hotel was 1.5 miles from the race start so we did a 1.5 mile warm up to Central Park.  Dad told me to ‘run slow’ which didn’t really work too well so I would run intervals and wait for them.  I got a really good picture of the art museum though. We made it to the start in record Guenther time, arriving a good 25 minutes early.  We were going to try and get the foam 2012 hats, but the line was so long and congested, it wasn’t even worth trying to get them.  We made our way over to the start which was chaotic (as it usually is).  We couldn’t even hop fences to get into the start because there was no room (I would have also run into the ‘I’m too short’ issue too.  We got to a point were we could at least get into line.  We did the traditional count down to the New Year with fireworks and we were off. After waiting for a good 9 minutes.

We were behind a lot of random walkers, people who didn’t know what they were doing or who were stopping to take pictures.  There was a lot of weaving in and out, but then again, this is a race that’s just for pure fun and not even timed officially by NYRR.  I saw some guys dressed up as bananas, a couple dressed as Prince William and Kate Middleton, people with New Years Hats and tutus and a whole bunch of other things.  At mile 2, we got champaign, if by champaign I mean sparkling cider.  I found a bunch of people (some who were probably a little more than drunk) giving out high 5s which I gave them and others shouting Happy New Year’s.  I ended up finishing in 39:50 according to my RunKeeper App on my phone. I made it through the end of the chut and headed to the porta potties to take a bathroom break while I waited for my parents. There was water, bagels and of course Emerald Nuts (they sponsored the race).  When I finally saw my parents, I had to signal my mom that I needed water (I missed that detail when I dashed off to the bathroom!).

I always like this race because it’s just for fun, there’s music and tons of costumes and the cops are nice (I’m convinced they’re glad they don’t have to work in Times Square, which I would be too).  To boot, it’s always your best run of the year!!  We hopped a bus back to 92nd street and showered in the hotel. Before heading to bed, we enjoyed little single servings of some good Martini’s.  By 3 AM, I was finally asleep (my parents were lucky and passed out before me).

Race Spotlight- NYRR Emerald Nut Run

One of my favorite races I go back for every year is the New York Road Runners Emerald Nut Run.  Every year, the race kicks off the year (literally) in Central Park.  It’s a New Year’s Eve –> New Year’s Day Race that begins 12/31 around 10 or 11 with a concert and costume contest in Central Park.  Granted, I never go for the concert or the costume party, I’ve seen tetris characters, Fruit of the Loom fruits and some other wacky New Year’s costumes.  Generally, me (or we if my family ends up coming out), start heading to Central Park around 1115-1130 depending on how close we are to Central Park and the start.  When the race starts, it starts at midnight with fireworks…

NYE Fireworks Kicking off the Emerald Nut run

and people celebrating the New Year without being in Times Square with a few million of their closest friends.  Honestly, spending NYE with runners is the way to go!  The race itself is a 4 mile loop that wraps around Central Park, roughly 72–>103 (or 109), over to the west side and then back to the start.  At the 2 mile mark, there’s “Sparkling Champagne” (which is really juice, but that’s ok) and water.  I do remember one year running it where the water was frozen solid because it was so cold outside.  The bibs are super cool for the race and, as always, you get some goodies.  Long sleeved shirts, nut treats and some sort of gift.  This year, it was socks, but there have also been coffee mugs and other fun things.  Even before and after the race, they’re handing out foam hats with the year on them (I have at least 4, maybe 5 of them), food, and a straight up good time.

Hotels are expensive, but what do you expect for NYE in NYC.  It’s always a good time since we try and see a show or just enjoy NYC itself.  And for what it’s worth, it’s your fastest race of the year (even if it only lasts until Jan. 2nd).

IMO, I’d go running in NYC on NYE any year and is a race to do if you’re looking for a good time and a long weekend

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