New Yorkers training for a marathon, running their first 5k, or just trying to stay fit have a choice to make. They can go it alone, sweating it out on a gym treadmill, or they can brave the visceral smells and bazillion weird-faced strangers of New York City streets.

For the NYC BridgeRunners, it’s a no-brainer. Started over 10 years years ago by native Mike Saes, the BridgeRunners meet twice a week to explore their city, stay in shape, and spread the love.

Nike Sportswear Bridge Runners- Mavericks Project from Marcus Troy on Vimeo.

For anyone who’s new to the city, struggling to stick to a training regimen, or bored of solitary workout sessions, the BridgeRunners make it irresistibly easy to tear down Manhattan’s sidewalks with the joyful abandon of kids at summer camp.

And for as long as I’m living in New York, that’s exactly what I intend to do—even if I hadn’t just moved here having already committed to the Chicago marathon. There’s just no better way to accidentally run farther and faster than anyone thought you could.

Distractions are welcome. We stopped to watch a benefit soccer game featuring Steve Nash and Joakim Noah.

Meeting the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge. We’re gonna get real close this summer.

Prepping to launch over the 1st bridge of the evening.

View of the Brooklyn Bridge and the world’s largest Firecracker Popsicle from the Manhattan.

Ripping off a few pull-ups near Prospect Park

Logging all these miles, I’m gonna have to get some new shoes stat!

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