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Best 3.1-Mile Run New York 2010 - Coogan's Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K

A couple of weeks before St. Patrick's Day, on one of those weekends that could feel like winter or spring, the New York Road Runners host their most neighborhoody race of the year: the Coogan's Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K. The run is a trip through Washington Heights, beginning at the Armory on West 168th Street. The race takes you up slightly rolling hills along Fort Washington Avenue and past a lot of Latin bands, jazz groups, and Irish bagpipers. A full-on marching band greets you at the Mile 1 point, near the entrance to the Cloisters. The route goes on a loop through Fort Tryon Park, granting nice views of the Hudson (sometimes still full of ice), faux-medieval architecture, and New Jersey. As the course doubles back, even the slowest joggers get to see the front-runners on their way to the finish line. The rolling climb of the beginning is a pleasant descent on the way back, and many runners head to sponsor Coogan's pub after they cross the finish, for an early, but well-earned, Irish breakfast.

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