MadHatten 2014 Race Report

The officially unofficial NYC Madhatten race of 2014. Hosted by Mark Power and run by NYC underground enthusiasts!

With my good friend Mark Power hosting the race, this has been on my race bucket list for some time. 2014 was the year for us to tackle it together. The race is approximately 55km and starts in Tribeca NYC and follows the manhatten coastline anti clockwise. You run the entire edge of the island and finish back along the west side highway in Tribeca for beers and the debrief at the Tribeca Taphouse.

I flew into NYC after a week of work in Dallas and after grabbing grub with good friends Nick and Emma in Brooklyn, I bedded down ahead of the early Saturday morning start. At 5am on Saturday, I threw on my warm race gear, splashed some water on the face and caught a yellow cab to race central in Tribeca where I met Mark and the other racers for check in. With a small group running, it was refreshing to have an informal atmosphere which lead to a social group running start. The event is more of an adventure than a race with many people of varying ability taking it on. It’s not often you get to see the whole island in one day and this gave us the best view from the Waters edge.


Here’s a link to the race map:


The MadHatter.

The MadHatter.


We kicked off around 8am in the cold NYC air. We trotted as a group and Mark and I soon found ourselves chatting away to 10 other race goers who ran at our pace. Including Chip who was a veteran racer that like me, flew in just for the race. Other race goers included Bob Becker who is the race director for the Key100mile ( race which is one of the toughest on the ultra racing calendar each year.

The sun was up, we had smiles on our faces and we were setting a nice pace. We rounded the bottom and headed up the east side towards Harlem. We stopped at a gas station to grab some water and fuel up! This is where the legs started to feel it. We were 12 miles in but the pounding on the concrete made the legs feel stiff.

We pushed on picking up the chat to distract us. We headed towards Washington Heights and past the Columbia University stadium. Not many people venture up there without a purpose but it is beautiful up there.

We hit the west side highway and began the leg home. The race director (Mark!) had said there was going to be a tailwind on the back stretch however – he was wrong!! We headed straight into the blistering wind which made the pace slow and our heads drop. We battled on ticking of mile markers and dreaming of the warmth and beers at the end. Power and I found ourselves running by ourselves and our chat had subdued. We had been in this spot many times and knew it was a matter of keeping the head down and putting one foot in front of the other.

We past the Piers and counted down the street numbers as we neared the home mark. Our legs were feeling the beating from the concrete and we were looking forward to the finish.

We rounded the corner in Tribeca, opened the door to the warm gym and called it a day. A great race / adventure and another tick in the box.


MadHatten Running Route.


Mark Power and Richard Bray after the MadHatten Race

Mark Power and Richard Bray after the MadHatten Race


We warmed up, showered up and hit the bar for a recovery brew. Sorry no after shots of the beers at the taphouse but many were drunk.

What made it even better was flying out the following day with the Powers to enjoy Thanksgiving with our families in sunny Southern California.

The 2015 race is on November 25th. If you want to join the crazies on a great adventure, click here to find out more.

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