7 Reasons Racing in the Winter is Better at the NYRR Manhattan 7 Mile

A runner posing in front of the NYRR Manhattan 7 Mile banner

In 2020, after two years of taking place in the heat of summer, the NYRR Manhattan 7 Mile moved to its new home on a chilly February weekend. Despite the dramatic change in season, runners thrived on the challenge, with over five thousand flocking to Central Park to take on this unique race.

Everyone who stepped up to the start line today knew that there are some very good reasons why racing in the winter is actually better than racing in the summer. Don’t believe us? Here are seven of those reasons for seven miles from today’s race.

1. No overheating. A common issue with summer races is overheating, but when you race in winter you don’t need to worry about that! When it is hot out, there are so many layers you can take off and you are still way too hot. In the cold, you can layer up to stay warm and look great doing it!

Three runners racing near the finish line.

2. Show off that great swag. Let’s face it, running gear can be some of the coolest looking clothing you own, and its usually the cold winter gear that is the most striking. When you race in the winter you get to look and feel incredible, especially if you are rocking an NYRR race shirt!

3. You can get a new PR. This might be specific to just this race, but with the NYRR Manhattan 7 now in the winter, it is your chance to get a new personal record to add to the list over this unique distance!

Central Park in the winter before a race.

4. Central Park is less crowded. When you call one of the most famous parks in the world your running home, it can lead to some crowding issues in the warmer months when the paths and roads of our beloved park are filled with tourists and locals alike enjoying its beauty. In February, those numbers are greatly reduced, leaving more space before, after, and during the race for runners to enjoy the run.

5. It is easier to breathe. We all know that summers in New York City are two things, hot and humid. That combination can make breathing hard, especially during a race. In the winter, the crisp air is less oppressive on a runner’s lungs, making the entire process much easier.

NYRR's Jim Heim with a runner at the finish line of the NYRR Manhattan 7 Mile

6. Fight off the winter blues. Season depression is a very real struggle for many, with the shorter, dark days leaving them feeling down throughout the season. Training for a winter race, however, can help counteract that. Exercise produces endorphins, the happiness chemical in our brains. If you are running regularly for a winter race, you are giving your brain a boost as well as your muscles.

A runner ringing the 9+1 bell after a race

7. Getting 9+1 done sooner. For many runners, the 9+1 program is a huge factor when picking races to run for the year. Chasing guaranteed entry to the TCS New York City Marathon is no small thing. Wouldn’t it be nice to get it over with sooner? Today’s 9+1 runners are planning on it! Getting the majority of your qualifying races done in the winter gives you more time to relax throughout the rest of the year, comforted in the knowledge that next year you will be running all of New York.

You can view the results from today’s race here. We hope to see you in a winter race soon!

Author: Katie Manzi

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