Race Review: NYCRUNS Go Nuts for Donuts 10k 2023

Me and my friend Hana after the Go Nuts for Donuts 10k

The NYCRUNS Go Nuts for Donuts 10k is a fun run in November on Governor’s Island. I ran in 2023, and here’s my review of the experience so you know what to expect!

Registration/Packet Pickup

You can register on the NYCRUNS website, and the cost was around $55 when I registered a few weeks before. If you register 1 month in advance, they mail you the bib free of charge. Otherwise, you can pick it up on race morning.

Even though I registered late, I still had a bib sent to me, which I didn’t realize since I wasn’t at my home address in Ohio. I was still able to get a different bib on race morning.

There was a 5k offered along with the 10k this year, but the 5k was canceled due to ferry timing issues. I’m not sure why they couldn’t have just run the 5k at the same as the 10k, especially since it was a 5k loop course, but they let the 5k folks join the 10k, or they could reach out to NYCRUNS for other options.

Getting to the Race

Governor's Island ferry on a cloudy morning

There were free ferries to/from Governor’s Island, where the race was held. No one had to buy tickets, including spectators. Race organizers recommended arriving to the ferry terminal before 7:30am for the 10k that started at 9:30am.

Since the ferry ride only took 10 minutes or so, this honestly gave a huge buffer; I think that was their goal, as they probably knew that people would trickle in later. There were definitely people that arrived later and had no problems, but I wouldn’t push it past 8am, and I would still stick to what the race organizers recommend to be safe.

Weather

Governor's Island in November with some leaves

The weather was quite windy and chilly once we got to the island—I’m guessing it was around the low 50s or high 40s. It was noticeably colder on Governor’s Island than in Manhattan, so definitely bring layers.

The only warm place to hang out before the race was the bathroom building, and that got crowded quickly, and it was further from the start line.

Course

Start of the Go Nuts for Donuts 10k with the NYC skyline in the background

The course looped around Governor’s Island twice. There were a couple small hills, but nothing too bad; my watch only registered 66ft of elevation gain.

You got some nice views of the NYC skyline, as well as some remaining fall leaves. The course was overall pleasant, but it was quite quiet until you got close to the finish area, so don’t expect much crowd support.

View of the NYC skyline from Governor's Island on a cloudy day
View of the NYC Skyline close to the ferry dock

Also, there was one section around mile 1.5 and 4.5 that had a ton of bird poop on the ground and smelled terrible, so keep that in mind too.

Finally, if you’re planning to hang out at Governor’s Island afterwards, it was actually pretty dead at this point in the season, and somewhat spooky. The houses on the island look colonial and abandoned, and there were a bunch of dead rodents due to the rat poison left near the buildings. I felt like I was transported to a 1700s college campus. I could see how the island could be fun in the warmer months, as there were a lot of empty food stands, but I wouldn’t recommend making plans to stick around after the race.

Swag

Boston Creme donut at the end of the 10k

You got a free long-sleeve shirt as well as donuts at the finish. The long-sleeve was your typical tech shirt, with a v-neck for the women’s style and crewneck for the men’s. I don’t know why this is the norm because I prefer crewnecks, and I was luckily able to snag a men’s XS instead of a women’s S. I always prefer being able to opt out of shirts for a discount or donation to charity, but that wasn’t an option for this race.

Weirdly, there was not a medal offered at the race, and I was surprised since that’s pretty much a given. I also don’t really care much for medals, but the price of registration was quite high, so it was strange that they didn’t make that clearer. (I’m guessing the cost was expensive because the race probably had to pay a lot of money to NYC transit for the ferries).

The donuts at the end came in a ton of varieties, from glazed to chocolate to Boston creme. There were unfortunately no vegan options, and the donuts were also only for runners.

One cool benefit were the free race photos, and I actually had a good one where I didn’t look like I’d gone to the underworld and back (though there were definitely some of those too haha).

My Experience/Performance

I knew I wasn’t in PR shape going into this, so my goal was to go out in 8:30s and see if I could negative split. I guessed I could run around 52 minutes, which was slightly slower than my COROS race predictor.

There were corrals at the start, so you could self-select, and I put myself in the 8-9min/mile corral. There were a ton more people than I expected for a local 10k—1,100 runners were there. So, the energy around the start/finish was actually decent.

Start line of the NYCRUNS Go Nuts for Donuts 10k race

My splits ended up being: 8:18, 8:23, 8:36, 8:14, 8:29, 8:15 (and 7:16 for the last .2 miles). My overall time was 52:31. It was a solid negative split, and I felt I ran a smart race. I often go out too fast and crash and burn, and I actually felt that I could’ve maybe pushed a bit more on this one.

All in all, the race was a fun experience. I wouldn’t go out of my way to do it again, but I would recommend it as a flat course with nice views of the city skyline.


If you’ve done the race, let us know in the comments what you thought!

You may also like my other race reviews.

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