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Reporting on: 6,114 meets 960,258 performances
 
 
 
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West 240th St. & Broadway

Bronx
NY
10471
Phone:    
Website:  http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_van_cortlandt_park/vt_van_cort_park.html
Directions

Directions to Van Cortlandt Park:

By Car:   

From New Jersey and Points South & West:  Take Interstate routes (I-95, I-78, I-80) to George Washington Bridge.  Follow signs keeping you on I-95 for about 1 mile off bridge, then exit at I-87 North.  Take I-87 North (also called the Major Deegan expressway) approximately 3-4 miles to Van Cortlandt Park exit.  Bear right off exit, go about 1/4 mile and bear right onto Broadway (you'll be parallel to elevated train).  Go through 2 traffic lights and VCP parade grounds are on right.  

From New England, Points North & East:  Take I-95 south to Cross Bronx Expressway (this is still I-95 south), and exit at Major Deegan Expressway (I-87) North.  This is one of the last exits before the George Washington Bridge.   Take I-87 North (also called the Major Deegan expressway) approximately 3-4 miles to Van Cortlandt Park exit.  Bear right off exit, go about 1/4 mile and bear right onto Broadway (you'll be parallel to elevated train).  Go through 2 traffic lights and VCP parade grounds are on right.  

From Upstate New York, Points North & West:  I-87 South over Tappan Zee Bridge; go approximately 20 miles after bridge and exit at Van Cort Park South exit.  Make right at traffic light, then bear right onto Broadway (you'll be parallel to elevated train).  Go through 2 traffic lights and VCP parade grounds are on right.  

Non-commercial vehicles can take the Taconic Parkway south to the Saw Mill Parkway South.  Follow signs to Henry Hudson Parkway, and exit at Broadway exit.  Make left at light onto Broadway and go 1/4 mile south; VCP parade grounds are on left.  

By Subway:    IRT #1 or #9 north to last stop, 242nd Street. Walk north about 300 yards, park is on your right.  These trains can be accessed from Times Square and Penn Station

Parking lots at 240th street and Broadway, and adjacent to the Van Cortlandt Golf Course (follow brown signs to VCPGC). 

Description

excerpted from "Cross Country Running" by Marc Bloom, editor, "The Harrier"

Van Cortlandt Park is America's cross country Mecca.  It is not paradise by any means. It has not the prettiest course nor the most difficult.  It does not have the best facilities.  It is just that it lies smack in the middle of the most populous megalopolis, in an area rich in cross country tradition, where sponsors and those of influence have chosen to operate.  Located as it is on the fringe of  New York City, Van Cortlandt is most accessible.  Public transportation funnels there from every neighborhood in the city. The subways are close by.  Highways and turnpikes touch the park from distant locales in neighboring states.

Therefore, in a given season, more runners race its trails than any other cross country site in the nation, if not the world.  There are several distinct programs that merge at "Vanny" as it is called.  The biggest is for the high schools.  Manhattan College (and before it NYU), and Fordham University sponsor meets with a combined entry in excess of 10,000....over the "time tested" 2.5 mile course.

At the Foot Locker Northeast Qualifier the high schoolers move up to the 5000m, the same route now used by women competing at the collegiate level.  Essentially, it's the first 3.1 miles of the famed five mile course.  When the men's college teams compete, they pass through the 5,000m finish area, then another two-mile loop remains.  The flats are repeated, then along the cowpath a sharp left is taken up onto the infamous Cemetery Hill, a steep, rocky incline about 4.2m into the college run.  "Cemetery" --that's the way it's referred to--just "Cemetery"--rises about a hundred feet during its length of about 300 yards.  Its peak stands 150 feet above sea level.  It's a killer alright, and the jibes abound.  Runners die up there.  They're dead and buried, laid to rest.  Its name is so perfectly suited for the cross country assignment that one would assume running there had some historical relationship to it. Not so.

Cemetery Hill was once known as Vault Hill.  It is the family burial plot of the Van Cortlandt family, wealthy Dutch settlers after whom the park is named.

Famous names and famous faces have been part of the fabric of "Vanny", whose ambiance on fall weekends is a microcosm of the entire town.  There is an overlapping tapestry; no one has the place just for himself.  Soccer and football and baseball and rugby and cricket mesh on the wide-open flats, and players of all backgrounds  shout instructions in many languages.  But runners are everywhere--warming up, training, racing, going off in all directions--or waiting in the restroom or finding their own woods, patronizing soft-drink vendors or the delis or Burger King.  Rows of cars or yellow school buses often double parked, line the finish area along Broadway.  Its a place of continuous movement that embodies the spirit of New York...and what makes Van Cortlandt Park----"Mecca". 

Read more at: http://www.armorytrack.com/XC/VCP/index.htm