All the signs are there. The Tri-state double header weekend is looking to be the biggest Spartan Race event of all time and arguably, the biggest OR of all time. As it stands, 17,000 people will witness the brutality that the Spartan staff have designed for them. So, not only would being there make you a part of history, but you’d have bragging rights amongst all your friends and relatives within the OR and running community.

Let’s have a closer look at the venue. The mountains alone stretch over 100 acres within the staggering 25,000 acres of Sterling Forest State Park. You could say it’s big. There are 4 double chairlifts, so if you want to get a bird’s eye view of how your husband, wife, brother, sister or whoever it may be, you can do so from the comfort of your chair and see below you as they sweat and grimace through the course that we’ve laid out for them.

But here’s the thing, why don’t you make a weekend of it? Tuxedo Ridge is less than an hour from Manhattan and realistically, why wouldn’t you want to take just one bite of The Big Apple while you have the chance? You’ve seen it in film, TV, magazines and online so many times. The Statue Of Liberty, Ground Zero, Madison Square Gardens, Wall Street, Coney Island… the landmarks and things to see are waiting for you and the list of things to see and do just go on and on. Why not check out Ellis Island and visit the immigration museum and learn about how immigration made the U.S. so great?

Only a hop and a skip further down the street from the ferry that lets you take in Lady Liberty and Ellis Island is the famous bull on Wall Street. Who cares if you’re clearly a tourist? These are landmarks worth noting. Broadway is another sight to behold and obviously, Times Square at night is something quite magical.

From Northern Manhattan all the way down to Brooklyn, there is simply so much to see and experience, whether it be Soho or Chinatown, to Little Italy or the world famous Central Park, there really isn’t time to get bored. There’s simply too much to see. Don’t worry if you start to flag or get tired, from personal experience, there seems to be a coffee shop on every block, so you’ll perk up in no time!

If accommodation is your first hurdle, then don’t worry. At the last count, Expedia.com tells us that there are over 600 hotels in the New York City area alone. Finding somewhere to rest your muddied head shouldn’t be a problem. Although we’re pretty sure that they’re prefer it if you showered first.

If you don’t have a car, there are still means of transportation to Tuxedo. This link will help those out that prefer not to drive. On that note, the subway system for getting around NYC, should you decide to stay before and after the race, is superb. Add the famous yellow cabs to that and you’re pretty much covered in the traveling stakes.

Nightlife? Where do you start? There are thousands. Literally, hundreds upon hundreds of places to eat, drink and be merry. It’s hard to even know where to start. Thankfully, TimeOut compiled a handy guide that even the grumpiest or hard-to-cater-for individual will find useful for finding a spot to try out.

Eating, drinking and dancing not your thing? Don’t care for historical landmarks? How about touring New York’s various movie landmarks? You could always check out Riverside Park in Manhattan, just north of 96th Street where in the meeting of all the gangs, Cyrus asked us in the movie “The Warriors”, “Can you dig it?”, as well as all the other landmarks from the classic. Here’s a link that gives you a heads-up. You could even visit the Ghostbusters HQ at what is the 8 Hook And Ladder fire station at 14 North Moore Street. Although we wouldn’t recommend driving like Popeye Doyle in The French Connection, you could always see where Gene Hackman played the famous role in that scene on Brooklyn’s 86th St. If you go down 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, be sure to strut your funky stuff like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Although, unlike the kids from Fame, dancing all over the hoods and roofs of cars in Times Square would probably have you arrested now. You may live forever and learn how to fly (high), but you’ll be doing it in jail. For the ultimate classic, how about going to 52nd St. and Lexington Ave? That’s where Marilyn Monroe had the skirt scene in The Seven Year Itch.
Naturally, it would be impossible to list every film ever shot on location in NYC, but for unashamed movie nerds, New York is a gold mine.

If not film, then how about music? Visit 53rd & 3rd if you’re a Ramones fan, sadly, CBGB’s – the classic music venue – doesn’t exist anymore at 315 Bowery, but you can see where Kiss took the album cover photo of ‘Dressed To Kill’ at 23rd & 8th or perhaps Led Zepplin’s ‘Physical Graffiti” at St. Mark’s Place between First Avenue & Avenue A. The Door’s got their picture from ‘Strange Days’ at 150-158 East 36th Street and let’s not forget The Who’s ‘The Kids Are Alright’ at the monument at 116th Street and Morningside Drive.

Simply put, the list just goes on and on. Theatre, indoor pursuits, outdoor pursuits, museums, parks… it’s hard to know where to begin and end, and making a long weekend of your Spartan Race here will be the beginning of a love affair with The Big Apple. Go on, have a nibble. They say it keeps the doctor away.

Credit: gru.edu,  dailyfilmdose

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By: Tony Matesi

CITI FIELD

Welcome to the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, the Queens borough of New York City. With a population of over 2.2 million people in Queens alone, the borough represents over 100 nations and speaks over 138 different languages. Don’t worry you won’t need a translator, English is still the most commonly spoken language.

Citi Field is the home to Major League Baseball’s New York Mets and is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, adjacent to the previous team home, Shea Stadium, which is now the Citi Field parking lot. Citi Field has the capacity for 41,922 Spartans! This stadium is no stranger to hosting events other than baseball either, on July 17, 18 and 21, 2009, Paul McCartney performed a series of three sold-out concerts at Citi Field. On top of that, Citi Field hosted its first soccer game between the national teams of Ecuador and Greece on June 7, 2011. They tied, 1-1. Now, Citi Field will be invaded by Spartans. You will conquer the course while spectators watch you fight through the modern day colosseum. Become part of Citi Field’s history.

What’s the weather like?

Normally the weather is quite perfect for a Spartan Stadium Sprint with an average low of 41° and high of 60°. Don’t let those comfortable temperatures fool you though, New York has a way of playing tricks. You’ll want to bring clothes for any situation. With a record low of 25° and a record high of 88° and all this talk of the Polar Vortex, we suggest coming prepared for anything. You know how it is, shorts weather one day and the next you are bundled up like an eskimo. Pack accordingly.

The Course:

The Stadium Race series provides a unique look at stadiums. Come to Citi Field to experience the standard Spartan Race obstacles along with some unique Stadium Only obstacles as you tear through the stands. Run across the baseline, climb into the dugout, navigate in and out of the bleachers, and catch a quick glimpse of the locker rooms. Conquer the Citi Field Stadium. Become a Spartan.

Where to sleep?

With Citi Field being so close to LaGuardia Airport the options for a place to crash are plentiful. There’s the Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn LaGuardia, Corona Hotel, Sheraton LaGaurdia East Hotel, the Flushing Grand Hotel, and the Fairfield Inn New York LaGuardia Airport/Flushing all within a very close radius to the ballpark. Book one of these nearby locations before they fill up! Trust us this is a race you won’t want to miss.

Tonight we dine in

After doing some extensive research there were a few select spots that kept popping up as must see spots in Queens, NY where Cit Field is located. First up is the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. As you’d guess its a beer garden, they offer up barbecue and Czech recipes. If you’re feeling up to something a little more fancy there’s the Water’s Edge Restaurant. Yes it’s located on the water’s edge and provides a magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline. No matter where you decide to dine the one place you must go to is the Lemon Ice King of Corona. Delicious flavored ice to celebrate a Spartan victory sounds delightful.

Nightlife:

If you’re looking to get out and shake your tail feathers after conquering the course – be smart, don’t get toasted the night before – we found some killer spots to check out while you spend your weekend in Queens. Soak in  some live entertainment, craft beers, burgers, sausages, and soulvaki at the German beer garden, Studio Square. Alternatively you have an opportunity to  transport yourself back to the 1890s with the speakeasy feel of Dutch Kills. Stop in and enjoy live jazz and ragtime music and the impressive hand-cut ice that is served in all their signature drinks. Are the European nightclubs more your scene? Check out the Central Lounge where the DJs spin hip-hop and dance music while you’re served sushi under the twinkling candlelight.

Family Destinations:

If you plan on bringing the whole family and want to offer them some options that expand their cultural knowledge be sure to check out the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Park. This giant globe is the symbol of Queens and is an excellent place for outdoor activities. Nearby, you can check out the Queens Museum of of Art where you can view the Panorama of New York City, an extremely detailed scaled model of the city.

Dabble in a little theater action and catch some improv by checking out the Secret Theatre. During the weekend of April 11-13 you can catch the following shows, A Full-ish Deck, Pirate Pete’s Parrot, and A Sunday Smile.

There will also be a few events happening in Queens that area including the Myrtle Avenue Festival taking place on April 13, 2014 on Myrtle Avenue between Forest Avenue and Wyckoff Avenue. Young kids can take part in an egg hunt at the Barnyard East Egg Hunt on April 14, 2014 between 12pm-4pm at the Queens County Farm Museum.

New York, the Big Apple. There’s a lot of opportunity for a Spartan. It’s a massive city with more to do than we can write about, so go fourth and explore! We’ll see you on the course, Spartans. AROO!!!

Credit: sheratonjfk

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