Wow, yesterday was a crazy but awesome day. How can one not be extremely excited about running through New York City? John Talcott dropped me off at the Megabus stop for my 7:00am departure. Upon arrival I noticed that neither of the two buses there were going to New York. I had a mild panic attack but found the line of passengers waiting for the NYC bus around the corner. Apparently, the bus was supposed to leave at 6:40am, my ticket said 7:00 (hmmm), but luckily the bus was late. I hopped on board for the seven hour ride to New York.
The NYC run was shaping up to be my only run without a running buddy. After trying to find a running partner via Twitter, I started to get excited about running by myself. The only trick would be finding people to take my pictures.
I arrived near Penn Station in Manhattan and took the red line to South Ferry, where I walked a few minutes to the Doubletree Hotel in the Financial District. My cousin Matt was in town working, so he let me crash with him. It was a great luxury to have in the city. I changed clothes and headed down to the waterfront to begin my run. Here, I was to thank Jeremy Sale again with the Statue of Liberty in the background. As you can tell, we were battling the sun.
I headed to Wall Street for an awesome picture opportunity with the world-famous Wall Street bull. Here, I was able to thank David Stollman for his gift. The next morning on the news, I heard that the Dow had reached its highest point since 2008. That slap on the bull’s backside proved to be successful.
I snapped a quick photo of the Stock Exchange Building and ran to the 9/11 memorial.
Being near the 9/11 memorial brought with it some interesting emotions. I found it prideful, saddening and exciting all at once. The new towers that are being erected are something else. Here, I was able to thank Jason Brannon for his gift.
From the memorial, I ran to Chinatown. On the way, I found this awesome sign. I’m a proponent of individuals using their own unique abilities and talents to do good work, so this was perfect.
At Chinatown, I asked a friendly woman take my picture. This is what came out of the first attempt. Yes, I’m there, just not in the picture.
Her next attempt was a success, and I was able to thank Ernie Chan, an undergraduate Phi Delt at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. Let me brag up Ernie here a bit. Ernie was our first Iron Phi in Canada, and I’m constantly amazed by his passion for Phi Delta Theta. When I think of our tagline “Become the Greatest Version of Yourself,” Ernie often comes to mind. Keep up the great work my friend.
From Chinatown, I ran to New York University and snapped a picture at Washington Square. It was at this moment that an idea sparked in my head. I have been past NYU a few times, but I’ve never been to Columbia University, where Lou Gehrig began his baseball career. Now this is where a running partner would have come in handy to bring reason to my idea. Running to Columbia would double the length of my run for the day. My mind said “Do it” so I did. I stopped at Starbucks to fuel up and hydrate a bit. The next stop was Madison Square Garden, the fabled arena in NYC. I learned that Van Halen was playing that evening! Here, I was able to convince a young lad to take my pic and thanked Jeremy Sale again. My eyes look crazy in this pic.
My next stop was Times Square. Advertising intrigues me. Throughout my journey, I’ve probably seen about 50 different ads for the movie The Lorax. I wasn’t surprised to see this gigantic ad near Times Square. I think I’ll have to see this movie.
I reached Times Square at dusk, a perfect time to witness its majesty. Here, I was able to thank my cousins Matt & Jessi Good for their gift. A big thanks to both of them for helping me make NYC a great stop!
While in Times Square, I also came across this interesting character. Lady Liberty has never looked so good on a pink bike.
A few blocks up, I stopped at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, the home of the David Letterman Show, to thank Jason Brannon again. When my family took a vacation to NYC back in the day, we attended the David Letterman Show. Little did we know that we’d be sitting next to an audience member in a skit. I’ll always remember being on TV during that episode.
My original last stop was Central Park. Here, I made a friend and thanked Keith Lopez in the process. We had to convince my four-legged friend Gary (awesome name) here to look at the camera as he had sat down with his owner for a slice of pizza. Even dogs apparently eat the New York-style pizza around here.
So I headed up the west side of Central Park on Broadway with the goal of reaching Columbia. I stopped at Starbucks again to grab a cookie (I was hitting a wall) and then made another stop at a Vitamin Shoppe to drink this protein-filled blessing.
The mind is crazy thing. If I would have told myself that I’d run 15 miles in New York on Day 5 of this trip at the beginning of this trip, I would have called my own bluff. I’m not really sure how I did it, but it was a special moment for me. As you know, I’m raising money for Iron Phi, a program that was created to enhance Phi Delta Theta’s relationship with The ALS Associaiton. The ALS Association fights Lou Gehrig’s disease and Lou was a member of Phi Delta Theta. It was fun to reach campus and take a moment to thank Brother Lou, an individual who’s life has made a tremendous impact on mine.
Running in Manhattan was amazing. The city’s pulse is like none other and it was a day I’ll never forget. I hopped on the red line and was back to the hotel in a half hour. Matt and I grabbed a bite to eat and then it was to bed. Seven miles on a bus and 15 miles on foot left me quite weary. I was dreading the morning, but I actually feel great today. Man, this stretching, protein, hydrating thing really works!
Off to Baltimore!