Race review: The NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K
In the spirit of trying new things in 2019, we signed up for New York Road Runners race with the longest name, and the shortest distance. We ran the NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K last weekend and had a blast doing it. After running so many races with NYRR in Central Park, it was nice to get on the road in a different neighborhood. June actually lived up in the Heights for a few years, so being up there was nostalgic.
The NYRR Shamrocks 5K starts outside the Armory, and indoor sports facility that is home to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. Starting here is great for a few reasons. First, it gives you a warm place to loiter if it's cold outside. Second, it gives you a reprieve from the port a potties if you are lucky enough to get to the indoor bathrooms. Finally, it is a quick an easy place to pick up your race bib on the day of. We are also nerds who pick up our bibs a week in advance, so we didn’t take advantage of that, but we will next time!
The course runs you up Fort Washington Avenue, under the George Washington Bridge, into Fort Tryon Park, around the Cloisters and back down the same path to the finish. There are about four major hills and a few rolling ones. The streets are more narrow so the crowd is more bunched than in the usual NYRR race. You might not PR here but you will have a lot of fun. Taking your time will allow you to enjoy the musicians, DJs and singers stationed at bus stops and other spots along the way. We heard everything from didgeridoo music, to salsa, to hip hop. Washington Heights really is a real multicultural mosaic. You'll also see some fellow runners dressed up in St Patty's day paraphernalia.
After the race there are usually green bagels but this year they just had the regular fare. We didn't mind - we love bagels whether they are green, blue and especially if they are beige.
Overall it was a great day, with great running weather and lots of crowd support. We haven’t run a race on the street of New York since the TCS NYC Marathon and didn’t realize how much we missed the spirit and energy of the city crowds. Whether you are a beginner runner or a seasoned vet, the NYRR Shamrocks 5K is a good one to put in your roster.