On Saturday March 13 2021 Runners from multiple running teams and affiliations came together to take on the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt trail, by participating in All or some of the distance. The Nassau Suffolk Greenbelt trail takes you from Cold Spring Harbor on the north shore of Nassau County down south into Massapequa, runners decided to take on the full distance and finish the run at Alhambra Park in Massapequa finishing at the southern shore of Nassau County.
Why we chose to do this run?
This is a bucket list run for sure! There truly is no better way to see hidden parts of Nassau County than through the beautiful Greenbelt trail. This run was setup as a training run for the official Shore2Shore race 5 weeks from now which is 50k in length, starts at Sunken Meadow Park and runs south to Heckscher State Park. As well it fit in for a perfect opportunity to bring together runners from multiple affiliations and local teams, and raise funds for Team Blueline, an affiliate of Givin_It_A_Tri.
The day was setup over the prior weeks with videos, aid stop setups, and social media posts promoting the training run.
The Course - Total Length 20 Miles, approx 17 on trail
Start- 85 Harbor Rd, Cold Spring Harbor 5.5 to first aid stop
We started off with multiple people at this location, a few going for the whole 20 miles, some for a couple sections and some getting out there for some hiking miles. This provides the greatest elevation gain per mile and is a great way to get warmed up at a slow pace. There is a lot of climbing in the form of man made timber stairs and steep down hills which require you to slow yourself down. This will cause a great deal of strain on the legs, so be easy. Think big picture for success later in the run, for parts of this section you are taken to a walking pace to get over the inclines. The weather started cold and brisk at our 7:50am start, but within 30minutes the sun crested over the hills and it began to warm up a little bit, Keep forward progress through this section and respect the hills.
Stop 1 - Trailview State Park, Jericho Turnpike, Section Length 5 Miles
This stop brought us to even more people, meeting us at this stop and some who were on the trail heading north to find us. This is a great place to stop and refuel and think about what you just conquered! Heading into the next section we refueled and ate a little to prepare for another section which has some climbing at the beginning. Crossing over Jericho Turnpike we were back into the trails headed to stop 2. This section went relatively well and added some more to the total elevation, we knew there was a bunch of people waiting at Stop 2 so we kept on forward at a good clip to get there.
Stop 2 - Haypath Crossing Bethpage 4.5 Miles
This section will take you into Bethpage state park and spits you out on the other side of the park pretty quickly, stay on the white trail as it splits as there are many multi use trails you can get side tracked on, when in doubt stay south! This section went fast as we held a good pace, besides that one tumble, whoops, definitely pay attention! Heading south you will have some light climbs after the parking lot in Bethpage park, but will level out as you head towards Massapequa preserve.
Stop 3 - N Linden St Massapequa 4.5 Miles
After this stop there is a little more trail to keep on which is open, wide and flat. Continuing on we were able to make quick work of this section and run into some of our local Law Enforcement and give a nice "Thank you for your service". After crossing sunrise highway we went south into the preserve there and stayed on path to keep the group together. Once we hit Merrick Rd we grabbed the blueline flag and started our final trek south down Alhambra Rd to the dead end at the water line. Thankfully my watch hit 20 miles perfectly as we finished and were able to take it home under great weather, great company and for a great cause.
I can not say enough about this day, First Id like to thank my wife, for putting up with being at every aid stops with my needs and dragging the kids along. Secondly Thank the donors that graciously donated to help injured officers and their families through Team Blueline. And lastly every single person who came out to, cheer, support, run-no matter the distance that was done, 1 mile or 20 miles!!!! It was truly a blessing for people to come out from all affiliations, Wattie Ink Racing, Merrick Bicycles Tri Team, North Merrick Runners, Rad Fam, Nassau County Police, and locals passing by to give their support!!!
This will definitely be a run that gets done yearly!!!! Stay Tuned!