Confession: I am terrified of running the NYC bridges.

I have never even walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. Part of it has to do with a fear of being too far away from “land” (also the reason why I have no desire to go on a cruise) and part of it has been the fear of being knocked over by an over-zealous cyclist. The Queensboro bridge (also known as the 59th street) bridge is part of the NYC marathon course and every NYC marathoner I know has recommended that it be included in at least 1 training run. For the past few weeks I had been googling “running across the queensboro bridge” just to get a sense of what the experience is like. Where do you enter from? Where does it end? Do you share a path with cyclists? Is it safe? I came across a good forum on the Runners World website. This was also how I discovered Kristin’s blog where I found an extremely informative post on running this bridge. She has a great series on NYC running routes which are worth checking out!

So armed with this knowledge, I packed on my new hot pink sneakers, strapped on my rather unpredictable Nike running watch (having loads of issues with this including a 4 miler on Park Avenue that was recorded as 0.4 miles, and a 15 miler across the city that had me running at a speedy and erroneous 7 minute mile), and headed east.

Pedsterians, runners and cyclists enter on a ramp located on the south side of 60th street intersecting 1st avenue.  There are two lanes, runners on the left and cyclists on the right. Both are 2-way lanes, so while cyclists are supposed to stay in their lane, I found that very often they would take over the runners’ lane. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at how wide the lanes were. I went on this run thinking that I would constantly have to dodge the bikes because of the narrow space, but thankfully that did not really happen.

The lanes-wider than I had anticipated!

View unfortunately is not so great, at least going into Queens, when all you have is the north side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island to look at..

View? Eh.

The bridge ends on Crescent Street and Queensboro plaza. The view on the way back is pretty breath-taking, with the beautiful Manhattan skyline in the distance. I couldn’t get a great picture but suffice it so say that it’s similar to what you see up in the first picture.

Overall, I loved running this bridge! The total mileage across the bridge and back is around 2.75 miles. There’s an incline which would be great to use for a short run if you want to include hills.

More importantly, now that I have gotten over my fear of running over a bridge I am excited to take on my next one!

Scene from “Manhattan”, one of my favorite movies, overlooking the Queensboro bridge

Question: What is your favorite bridge to run over?



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19 Responses to Conquering my Fear: Running the Queensboro (59th Street) Bridge

  1. Katherine says:

    Congrats on facing your fear!! Bridges are always more scary to run until you actually do them and realize it’s actually fun :-). I’m always afraid of running over new bridges b/c I’m always afraid I won’t be able to find the pedestrian entrance haha (weird but true).

    Queens Borough bridge is my favorite so far. Brooklyn is nice, but currently undergoing construction so they have fabric up that covers the views and it’s super crowded. Williamsburg bridge is enclosed, but kind of cool — it’s very “brooklyn ish” and graffitied…Oh and I’ve only walked over the GWB, but it’s awesome! Def recommend, just wish it was closer.
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  2. Sam says:

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, Katherine. I actually ran all the way upto the GW bridge last week, freaked out a little bit and then turned back! I do plan on including it on a future long run now that I have triumphed over the Queensboro bridge!

  3. Dori says:

    I love the Queensboro Bridge! I can’t believed I lived around the corner from the entrance for 6 years and only started running on it during marathon training and not even until the end of that. I never did the Brooklyn Bridge but I want to. Congrats on conquering the fear!
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  4. Jess says:

    Great job, Sam! Now I feel like I need to run that bridge also. Thank you for the resources!
    Jess recently posted..Surprised!My Profile

    • Sam says:

      It’s a great run! You’re such a pro that I assumed you already had run it!

      • Jess says:

        Only if you count that one time I ran the NYCM! 😉 I was actually hoping Jack Rabbit was going to do the long run they did last year that covers most of the course, but so far it doesn’t look like they are doing it.
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  5. Amber says:

    SCARY. I have a terrible fear of bridges, I actually have recurring nightmares about them. I am totally impressed that you did this!

  6. Congrats on telling that fear who’s boss! In my 8+ years living in NYC, the only bridge I’ve ever run/walked/scurried across was the Golden Gate in San Fran. Very cool experience, but a little too much car/bike traffic for comfort.
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  7. Ameena says:

    The next time I’m in NYC I’d be happy to walk the bridge with you…my old knees can’t run any more. 🙂

  8. mary says:

    Great job, Sam! I have the same fear of a crazy cyclist!

  9. Love that you faced your fear head on! <3 Next time will be a Breeeeze. xx

  10. Lauren says:

    Nike watch- ditched it after it messed me up in 2 races. I was using the footpod, are you? I was told this was the problem though it wouldn’t get a signal without it. Went back to garmin. Go you- never run Queensboro other than NYC marathon and felt so many made it sound so hard/uphill but it was shady and a nice break from crowds to clear your head. I’ve done GW and Brooklyn liked both but now you may have made me scared of falling over the side.
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  11. Melissa Burton says:

    Bridges are my favorite and I miss them now that I live in LA! My favorite is the Bklyn Bridge (although they are doing a lot of work and it was pretty smelly the last time I was there).

    QB and the Williamsburg are pretty great too, though!

    Congrats and welcome to the Bridge Club!

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