No Man(hattan) is an Island

Last Saturday I participated in a running fundraiser, No Man(hattan) is an Island, for my long run. The event is running the perimeter of Manhattan (about 35 miles) to raise money for The Herren Project, a nonprofit that raises awareness and provides support for people with problems associated with addiction and recovery. For $20, I was promised company during a long run and free goodies from generous donors (infused water from Juices Press, Huma gels, and a post-race meal from Mi Casa), so I was totally game to do this.

My intention was to run 20 miles and then head back to Finish Line Physical Therapy where we started and where the post-run after party was. I didn’t quite do this – the running part, the after party I totally got it down.

Saturday was another lovely overly hot humid summer day that gave no hint that fall is coming in less than two weeks. When I headed out to Midtown at 5:45 am, the morning air was already warm, moist, and sticky. If I were a lump of dough, it would have been perfect for setting out me out to proof. I sighed because when I would set out to run later that morning, it was only going to get worse in terms of weather.

I arrived at Finish Line Physical Therapy just after 6:30 am. The event was supposed to start at 7 am, but we didn’t actually start running until 7:30. By then, the sun was out in full force. The route was to run west toward the West Side Highway, head south, and run all the way around the perimeter of Manhattan.

I had a small bit of hope that perhaps I could do a 9:30 pace for 20 miles, but as I took my first steps, I discarded that plan and went immediately went to “survival mode.” I ran super slowly (11:00 mm for the first 10 miles) with a small group of women. I took a Huma gel just before Mile 5. After 10 miles, I stepped off the “course” to take a rest break and get a cold drink. Of course with a long rest break, I lost the people that I was running with.

I didn’t run into other people doing this event, so I decided to see how much more I felt like running on my own. The answer was not much.

I don’t know what it was, but I really didn’t want to do this long run. Even though this wasn’t the worst summer weather I had experienced, this was the the worst long run I had this training cycle. I don’t know what it was, but I’m wondering if having a break with cooler weather made it harder to run in warmer weather. It was a complete mess. I ran another 2.5 miles north on my own and then decided to run back to the Finish Line, which would end it at 15 miles. I decided that I would simply finish the other 5 miles in the evening for the 20-miler.


Strawberries & Cream Float from Ice & Vice

I ran through Manhattan. I wanted to quit running, but I bribed myself by promising me an ice cream float from Ice & Vice at Madison Square Eats, a culinary pop-up market. Totally worth it! The delicious Strawberries & Cream (Mexican vanilla ice cream, strawberry basil soda, rimmed w/ powdered strawberry, and topped w/ whipped cream, strawberry puree, pastry cigars, basil leaf, and basil sugar) found its way to my mouth after 15 hot sweaty miles. I totally love Ice & Vice (I actually hired them to provide artisanal ice cream floats at my wedding) because of  their inventiveness of flavors and collaborations with other vendors. If you’re in NY, I definitely say Ice & Vice is a must visit for ice cream lovers.

It took like 10 minutes to eat the float because 1) it was delicious and 2) I was so hot that I downed the float to cool down.


Bandejita Paisa from Mi Casa


I walked over to Finish Line PT from Madison Square to get my free goodies and food. I arrived at noon and the party wasn’t starting until 1 pm. It didn’t make sense to make the hour long trip home only to come back again, so I stayed put until I got my food, Bandejita Paisa – platter of rice, black beans, red cabbage slaw with some sort of green sauce, plantains, and a slice of avocado. Tasty and filling. Thank you, Mi Casa, for your donation in feeding hungry runners!

When I left, the first runners for the entire perimeter were starting to come in. I really admire their perseverance.

No Man(hattan) is an Island was not quite what I was expecting. There weren’t as many runners as I had expected, so it wasn’t easy to find people to run with after you lose a group. This was the inaugural event, so I hope that this event grows and becomes even more successful. The timing of the after party (1-4 pm) isn’t ideal for runners who don’t plan on running the full perimeter and don’t live in Manhattan. If I lived in Manhattan and I wasn’t running the whole perimeter, it’s fine because I would just go home, shower, and then go head out to the party. But on weekends, it takes about an hour to get to my home from Midtown. It’s a long commute and not worth going back and forth. If I planned on doing a much shorter run, I’m not sure if I would have stuck around for the party because even with doing a 15-miler, I still had to wait over an hour until the after party began.

I like the idea of No Man(hattan) is an Island because it’s raising money for a worthwhile cause and the idea of running the perimeter of Manhattan is super cool. For a first year event, I was impressed with the event’s execution and its sponsors. Strava provided one month free Premium membership to all participants. I wish the organizer all the best in growing No Man(hattan) is an Island in support of The Herren Project.

11 thoughts on “No Man(hattan) is an Island

  1. This weekend’s morning weather was so rough, especially after the cooler, lower humidity temps the previous week! I also struggled with my LR this weekend. But yay Ice & Vice! I love them and their use of the Konery’s funfetti cones.

  2. That does sound like an interesting race (not that I would ever run that long!).

    Saturday was just truly brutal, and I live upstate! And believe me, my 5 miles in the afternoon were super slow with lots of walk breaks.

  3. Wow, what an interesting event. I know exactly what you mean when you really want to make that 20 miler work and it just isn’t going to happen. My last 18 miler before Grandma’s was like that. I knew right away it was going to be rough and I kept thinking hopeful thoughts, but I knew right away it just wasn’t going to happen. At least there was delicious food at the other end!

  4. I love your thorough reviews!!! Boo though, that you didn’t have a good run. I definitely feel you when you say getting a tease of cool weather, only to have the heat/humidity return, is awful. 😦

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