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Travel / May 20, 2016

Hudson River Games

Written by: Mitch Harris

New York is America’s most competitive city (take that, other cities!) So it’s only natural that New Yorkers get together once in a while to battle for dominance.

That’s what the 2nd annual Hudson River Park Games are all about. Held May 21, the games are designed to settle inter(and intra)-office disputes through fierce but friendly competition. And to raise money for the park, of course.

The Games have three main components, each tailored toward a different level of Type-A personality (the last one is actually pretty Type B).

Run the “Fear the Pier” Course

Hudson River Games | Run the "Fear the Pier" Course |

Where obstacle races go, “Fear the Pier” is pretty short. But don’t let that fool you—the 8-obstacle course is designed to pack a lot of work into a small space. Obstacles include hurdles, a tire run, and a climb over a school bus. That’s right—a bus.

Thankfully, there are no water or mud obstacles on the course. But there is a lot of concrete involved, so organizers recommend gloves and elbow and knee pads. The course is run in timed heats, so there’s little risk of being trampled.

If you go: The race is only open to adults (18+). A single run through the Fear the Pier course costs just $25, and a double run costs $40. Race-day registration will be available, but advance registration is encouraged. Registrants get a free headband. 

Conquer the Pentathlon

Hudson River Games | Conquer the Pentathlon |

The Park Games Pentathlon doesn’t look much like the Olympic Pentathlon. Sure, there are five events—but in this case they’re dodgeball, volleyball, kayaking, flag football, and a run through the aforementioned “Fear the Pier” course.

The Pentathlon is a co-ed team event—each team has 10 members, at least 4 of which must be female. Teams spend all day (9 a.m.–4 p.m.) competing, and the winning team is awarded the Hudson River Park Cup. Goldman Sachs won the cup last year, so it’s become a coveted Wall Street prize.

If you go: Participation in the Pentathlon is expensive. Each team must raise $5,000 to compete (but participants do get t-shirts). Registration details and rules are available online.

Do what you feel at Community Fest

Hudson River Games | Do what you feel at Community Fest |

Maybe competition isn’t your thing—in which case, we’re pretty surprised you read this email all the way to the bottom. But we’re glad you’re here, because the games have a pretty robust non-competitive component called Community Fest.

Community Fest actually starts a week before the games. From May 14–21, local businesses near the park will host SUP yoga, trapeze lessons, sailing classes, and more. Other businesses will offer discounts on sandwiches, cupcakes, and mini-golf.

If you go: Community Fest is available to everyone, but most events aren’t free. For a schedule and pricing info, check the event page

Photos courtesy of Friends of Hudson River Park.

about the author

Mitch Harris

Mitch Harris embraced the Every Day Carry trend long before it was cool. From the day he got his first pocket knife, Mitch has devoted himself to staying prepared for every eventuality. Through his position at Shoulders of Giants, he’s able to keep his kit stocked with the very newest and best EDC gear.

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