Van Cortlandt ParkBroadway and Van Cortland Park S
You are in New York — it's a problem. If you arrive early, you'll be okay. If not, it'll be a battle. You can try parking at the Van Cortlandt Golf Course and walking over or just try north on Broadway past the Saw Mill. We've heard that the barn at VCP, just north of the Saw Mill has parking as well. If you live in Manhattan, take the subway. If you live in Westchester take Metro North and then a taxi. It's easier and more environmentally friendly. There are always taxis to get back to the station waiting at the subway stop at 242nd Street and Broadway, where the No. 1 line comes to an end.
Do not miss out on the legendary Loyd's Carrot Cake on Broadway. It's the post-race spot for Olympians and rookies alike. There will be a lot of trucks selling food, but there are also some delis right on Broadway and a Burger King (the line will be long). Be ready for long lines in most places close by on big meet days.
Where To Meet
The Tortoise and the Hare is the famous spot to meet, kind of like "The Bat" at Yankee Stadium. The statue is on Broadway directly across the field from the finish line, though it's a pretty long way across.
There are two public restrooms in the park, one on Broadway just north of 242nd Street, across and south from Burger King.
The other one is by the Van Cortlandt House on the south side of the park. Just find the 2.5-mile start and walk toward the "Cow Path" and you'll see a bath house on the right hand side.
If you get to the park and see the field, walk counter clockwise on the field and you will hit the start, which is where the check in table has been for years. Not making any promises here — meet management may have moved it.
If you came off the subway or near Burger King, you are very close to the start and check in. Just pass the driveway into the park, and there it is. If you hit the Tortoise and the Hare, you've gone too far.
Vanny — the beloved park's nickname
VCP — the abbreviation
Cow Path — the entrance to the woods and trails
Freshman Hill — that first hill that leads up to and down from the bridge
The Bridge — the 3/4-mile and 2-mile marks on the 2.5-mile course.
The Back Hills — basically everything over the bridge
The Flats — the entire huge field, but usually referring to the flat trail that leads around it.
Cemetery Hill — the notorious hill that is not on any HS course.
The Signs — the white posts that mark the course and point runners in the right direction. They display a white tortoise and hare.
Things to do
Cemetery Hill — There is a great view for the entire park from here, so when you have some down time walk up this classic and see how steep it is. It is on the college 8K and 10K course as well.
Carrot Cake — Head over to Loyds and do what runners and fans have been doing for years — get a piece of carrot cake. It's the best you can find.
The Bridge — Even if it's not for your son's or daughter's race, get to the bridge for a race. It's a great place to see what it's like in the woods. Remember, if you're at the bridge when they cross it the second time, you will miss the finish.
Run the Aqueduct — everyone runs on the trails in Vanny, but why not cool down on the aqueduct trail. It runs from the golf course pond into Yonkers and is beautiful and shaded.
Be at the finish — An obvious here, but emphasis was needed. To see these races finishing basically non-stop all day long is a sight to behold.
Get there early — Parking is tough. Get there early. Get there early. Get there early.