After I decided to run this race just two days before, I was on a quest for information about this race all over the web. Course had some hills, seemed easy to get to, and a “smaller” race. I am dividing this post into a race description first (in case someone wants to run it next year), and my own race after. Here is what happened.
Getting there. Was a zip. The 4 train got me there super fast. We were distracted so totally lost so I missed our stop but got right back on the train and it was fine. A 10 minute walk after the train would get us right on Registration! Also, I got to see the Bronx College campus which was pretty nice! Who knew?!?
Registration. Races were supposed to start at 10, registration would close at 9:30, and I still had go register, so I got there before 9. Day-off registration took two seconds. Preregistered people had a LONG line. I paid my $30, got a cotton tshirt and was set in a second!
Start. Ommm. It seems like they had a huge amount of people registering, or something, so they were waiting for them ALL to get to the start…. We were supposed to start at 10 and we were waiting and waiting by the start. It was starting to get hot too. We finally started at 10:42, I kid you not. I don’t like waiting.
Race Atmosphere. Lovely! It was a community run and walk so a lot of the local people were there, besides the College President, the local Representative, and all their families. They’ve been doing this race for (I heard!) 26 years (I hope I am close!) so it was a lot of local flavor, people in colorful outfits, lots of Van Cortland team runners, very much fun.
Safety. Something else I need to get used to. Police, safety course and NYPD Counterterrorism all over the place. Waiting for the starts, the bf and I sat down in a bench, there was a shopping bag there. A NYPD Counterterrorism officer asked us if that bag was ours, it wasn’t. He went through it, it had new balance shoes. He told the race officer to announce that people needed to check their bags at registration. My bf got looks while waiting for me, he does look like a mean guy though! 😉
The Course. Was rough for me. It starts with a huge downhill, which you have to climb on your last half mile again. There were a bunch of hills. You’re running mostly on the Grand Concourse, a wide-avenue/highway with no shade or spectators. It was hilly, quiet and HOT. It was around 55 and I was hot half mile in, and got a sunburn. It is also not a crowded race so there was not a lot of people to chase down. Very quiet, not what I am used to.
The Finish Line. Fabulous bagels, bananas and volunteers. There was a lot of space to hang out in the sun, fun people, not crazy crowded. We had a good time chatting people up!
The Post Race Ceremonies. Also late. Pfff. There was a lot of waiting around in this race. But it was a super nice ceremony. They were doing top three in AG and top 3 overall. For the 5K and 10K. And everybody spoke. It was really nice.
Well, I didn’t feel like I was in my best shape (and, ehem, weight) but felt like I could PR as my PR was a 45:30 from June 2011, the Mini10K I run with the tutu, at a 7:20 pace. I thought I could improve on that and do around 7:10 to 7:15. I looked at the course, looked okish, not super fast but not scary either. I was getting nervous with the looong wait (we started 42 minutes later!) and hot. Really wanted to ditch the singlet but I was too lazy to unpin the bib, so I kept it.
We finally go and I counted the women ahead of me on the first turn: 4.
The course starts with a brutal downhill, and being all upfront like that usually throws off my pace.
The red line is the elevation, look at the first and last half miles, yuk.
So, I know I am going too fast, but there is little I can do to stop it. There are a few turns and soon we’re on the Grand Concourse, along with the 5K runners and the walkers are behind us. As soon as I hit the first mile, I had passed one lady, and one girl passed me. Gutsy move, more power to you! I knew I was still fourth.
Soon enough, we hit the 5K turn and then the 10K turn. A lot of runners left us here so I knew now who I had ahead and who in the front. It was a tough 3.5 miles there though. It was lonely, quiet, and very very sunny. Really, very HOT. I really wanted to drink but I’d never dare drink on a 10k, I just can’t. But I hadn’t had a sip of water that morning, stooopid move. Mile 3 and 4 were tough, but I felt I was doing all I could.
Actually, at mile 1 I had turned the music off. After last week’s snafu race where I forgot my GPS/music watch, I decided it might be easier to monitor my effort without the music. Just turned it off. So weird to not miss it.
Really, after mile 3 I was gearing up and dreading the last half mile climb. Ugh.
Not the happiest face in the last 200 meters, but I think I managed to keep some momentum going. The last mile, when we merged back on the main course, got tough. The walkers were coming back and we had to go around a few of them. I didn’t have all the brain and leg power on me for that, but I had no choice. Though I think my heavy breathing scared a few of them out of the way, sorry!
I was done in, unofficially, 44:32. A one whole minute PR, 7:11 average pace (4:27 in kilometers), 69.60 Age Grading.
CRAZY. Official results are not up yet, so I’ll add those here when I get them. But, wow, still.
I was hot and thirsty and dry heaving for a bit, but it was done. I knew I was 4th overall (though some could have been 5K runners), but the AG I wasn’t sure… it’d be 30 to 39 age group and I am 38… right at the end of it. Still, even if I knew it’d run late, we decided to stick around!
Wow, was it a surprise when they called out he awards. I had the 1st place in the 30 to 39. CRAZY. CRAZY.
Well, that was one good morning (minus the racing part! ha!). Everybody was super happy and friendly, and I got a humongous trophy and a sunburn! My next 10K is in a month, in Central Park, we shall see… 😉