The Jog Blog
I may be writing a blog about jogging, but don’t call me a jogger. I bought flashy shoes and enjoy my occasional exercises, but my roommate’s the one who’s truly earned that athletic title. I tag along his jogging expeditions on days when the fear of becoming an obese couch potato lights a fire under me. Despite my tendency to breathlessly ponder whether getting off the couch was a grave mistake just five minutes into the jog, I’ve come to discover that jogging in Washington Heights is one the best ways to break a good sweat while taking in a great view.
Washington Heights has a runner’s-resort reputation because of its proximity to the Hudson River and other runner-friendly institutions. Simply start heading west and you’ll encounter one of the greatest waterfront views and a peek at our friends in New Jersey (who totally wish they were on the cool side with us). We often kick off our jogs at Riverside Drives Park by 164th Street and make our way down to Riverbank State Park, West Harlem Piers, and then Riverside Park. The path stretches all the way into lower Manhattan so you can decide how far to push yourself. I personally consider said long distance jog to be suicidal and instead prefer making a mile and a half loop up Fort Washington Park where I check out the George Washington Bridge and the (extremely cute) Little Red Lighthouse tucked next to the path.
These jogging paths cued me into great outdoors hangouts in my neighborhood, where folks picnic, play baseball, fish, dog-walk, and enjoy my favorite post-running activity – BBQ!
These are just some of the many parks and paths that Washington Heights offers its jogging community. The real serious runners should also check out The Armory on Fort Washington Avenue, an indoor track that has been the pinnacle of track and field training in New York for over 100 years. The city’s high schools congregate at The Armory to train and compete at over 100 track-meets annually. This is the place Olympic-leveled athletes train, but don’t be intimidated – the rich history and fast tracks are to be enjoyed by everyone. In all honesty, I feel faster just passing by the place!
Without an athletic bone in my body, I motivate myself to stick to the run with the ultimate reward of capping off our good exercise with drinks at Coogan’s. A legendary fixture of Washington Heights, Coogan’s has coined itself “America’s #1 Runners Restaurant” and with good reason – the annual Shamrocks 5K race it sponsors attracts thousands of runners to the neighborhood. After a recent rent hike threatened to end Coogan’s run in the Heights, the wave of support not only blew up social media and local news but also solidified a new lease that secured Coogan’s as a neighborhood staple for years to come.
In addition to being a good form of exercise, jogging has become a real neighborhood experience in Washington Heights. I hope to see you out there someday – I’ll be the Asian lady wheezing while muttering bloody murder about my knees!
If you have any questions about jogging uptown or purchasing real estate in Manhattan, let's talk! You can reach me anytime at (562) 569-8818 or Wendy@BizzarroAgency.com.