Race Report: NYRR Oakley Mini 10K

As usual, I will be dividing this report in two: The Race (bib pick up, amenities, course, atmosphere, etc.) and My Race below

THE RACE

The Mini10K is one of the most traditional women’s races in the world, as it was the first race to cater to women. It was the original girl power event, organized by Fred Lebow in 1972, and had Katheryn Switzer and Nina Kuscik, who you usually see invited to the festivities. Tough course, big names, and always running celebrities and traditions in place, it’s one of the nyc races you don’t want to miss! trust me, you don’t.

For more info and some great pictures, check the NYRR Oakley Mini 10K official page (And you can spot me in the photo gallery!)

Bib Pick Up/Registration. Was a zip as usual. I was excited about the shirt, as every year we get a fitted cotton shirt I can (sometimes) wear to work, but this time, given the new Oakley sponsorship, we got tent tank tops. I call them tents because I got the smallest size they had (an S) and it was enormous for me. It’s on the “give away” pile. Sad. I had liked it!!!!

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Start. Was super organized. I always get stuck in lines in these big races but these one felt like a small race..?!?! I had no problems getting to my corral, to a portapotty, all super easy, even if my nerves were expecting all of the opposite. Luckily, my corral (blue) was right in front of the ceremonies so I got to see all the speakers, which included Mary Wittenberg, some triathlete I didn’t know (was just told by my Ironman boyfriend that it was Jenny Fletcher) Desi Davila and…

Who better to kick off the morning than running legend Nina Kuscsik, co-founder of the original “Mini” in 1972 (along with Kathrine Switzer and the late great Fred Lebow)? “Look how far we’ve come,” Kuscsik said into the mic. “It’s great to see you all out here.” Toshiko d’Elia, an 83-year-old masters age-group winner, joined Kuscsik and Mary Wittenberg to wish everyone good luck at the start; she had her 1978 Mini shirt with her.

Chilling. This race always gets to me: Girl Power!!!

Race Atmosphere.

Like I said… it’s so friendly in there, at least until the gun goes off and then it’s elbows up.  Just kidding. or am? I am! I am!! I saw a lot of my team-mates there, Lora of LVrunsnyc.com, everyone was in there in the blue corral an we were all hugging! We chatted, got excited that all the race elites were a meter away (SO crazy)…

nyrr oakley mini 10k

we were right behind that timing mat, yes, THAT close.

Also, it always smells better in the corral in a women’s race. I wonder…

The NYRR photographer got a pic of Michelle, Elke, and I (gallery here!) and soon, we’d be on our way!

nyrr oakley mini 10k dashing whippets front runners

Photo Credit: NYRR, from their gallery. And, of course I wear lipstick to a race!!

Weather. Well, I’ve done the Mini10K seven times and this was the best ever. By FAR. It’s usually in high 70s or even mid 80s with humidity. Always the humidity fro some reason. It must have been 62 or 64, that is usually hot for me, but for the Mini, that was the best weather in… ever. Sun came out and people said they felt the humidity in the last miles. I was just happy it wasn’t as bad usual 😉 Low expectations help!!

The Course. Well, I think it’s one of the roughest 10ks you can do. Seriously hurtful. Elevation profiles are here if you feel like reliving the pain or wonder if you dare. It’s such a tricky race… you start in a mile long straightaway where everyone usually takes out too fast. I promise you, 94% of the people, are going too fast and WILL fade. Never look around!! As soon as you get in the park, there’s a hill, there another climb, then a mountain, then everest. No, I don’t think I am exaggerating. For some reason, this race didn’t feel too crowded for me. I was running comfortable and usually around the same people. My only issue is that NO ONE around me was running tangents. Ahem girls, seriously?  There was some serious cheering on CP West, on Engineer’s Gate and at 72nd tranverse, but most of the park was quiet. Loved it.

The Finish Line. Fun to go through and no crowding. We got medals, flowers, bananas, bagels and water. I was able to meet up with some friends right there and catch up.

The Post Race. There was a line, loooong line, for picture taking?? We spotted Desi Davila in the Oakleys tent!

nyrr oakleys mini 10k desiree davila

Kirby, Desi Davila, and me

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We stayed for the raffles and team pictures… I won nothing, how is that possible. It was such a gorgeous day to stay in the park so Kirby, Juan and I walked back to the UES. I love this race.

MY RACE

I wasn’t sure how I’d do but having done a 10K a month before in 44:32 I knew I would try to go sub 45. This course was harder so I was sure I wouldn’t PR. Actually, it’s not that this course is just harder, it’s that this race always leaves me weeping. It’s just hard. And hilly.

I woke up already serious and with a will kill you if you talk face so the boyfriend knew to stay out of the way and did a wonderfully supportive act. I had my coffee, nothing else, and took the bus downtown to 57th and walked west. By the time I got there, I found a portapotty, did my thing, had a cup of water, which was ALL the fuel I had in me (plus/minus the coffee I had and already got rid of), kissed him and went to the corral.

I found a lot of people on my way, it was cheery and fun and everyone was smiling and relaxed. Is this not the hardest 10K ever? I guess I was the only one dreading it… Well.

I wore my mizunos sayonaras, as usual, love those shoes. It was in the 60s so just booty shorts and bra, this is too hot for singlet and I really have no shame. I know, I am older and should hide some stuff/care but whatevers, this is me.

I got the the blue corral, got photographed, heard the opening speeches, and was ready to go. I think, for the first time ever, I knew what I had to do: Hold it!!!

mini 10k central park west nyrr

Running on Central Park West (thanks Ben Ko for always taking amazing pictures!)

Mile 1 is always rough, people go out like CRAZY. Seriously. And I made that mistake in every of each Mini I did before. Focus, stay down: 7:09. Nice slow opening. As soon as we enter the park there is a hill, then another. It gets really tricky and a few of us kept pacing each other: 7:03, so I am starting to warm up. Then we climb and we climb and there is no one to cheer there (other than Helen, thanks for being there and the pictures!)

I was really sweating so I had to put the glassed and headband DOWN! (Thanks Helen!)

I was really sweating so I had to put the glasses and headband DOWN! (Thanks Helen!)

It starts to sink in: 7:09.  This is all great but this is the part where the wheels come off. Always. This time, even if I couldn’t stop it, I held my ground: 7:38. It really could have been worse, I thought.

Now: 1, it starts hurting, and 2, I start pushing. Both, of course.

Mile 5 is 6:58, I got this. I start feeling ok but I know I can’t get excited and mess this up now: it’s too early! Mile 6: 7:03.

nyrr oakley mini 10k running central park ny

Going up on the last 50 meters! Can’t believe I blocked Mary Wittenberg with my hand!!!! Uffff (thanks Ben Ko for the fabo picture!)

And the last bit in 6:49 pace. I guess I had some in there, even up another hill!!!

photo

Stats:

Finish time: 44:46. Average Pace: 7:13

Previous PR: 44:32. From: May, 2013

Age Grading: 69.25%

Overall/Gender Place: 207 of 5595

Age Place: 27 of 925

NYRR Oakley Mini 10K, official race results

Worth noting: I am getting this pacing thing right, I think. A 10k is Central Park is always brutal, in any direction, and I don’t think I messed this one up!

Fun at the finish line:

nyrr oakley mini 10k running central park ny

Pink Bling

nyrr oakley mini 10k running central park ny

Kettia and I!

nyrr oakley mini 10k running central park ny

Juan, who cheered from west to east to west, and caught me when I finished!

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yes, those are my shorts: NO shame!

dashing whippets

Whippets who Raced

So, get ready for this. Sit down. Because the Mini is a ladies race, the men in my team have nothing to do but cheer… so cheer they did… Are you sitting down?

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One of us is wearing a skirt

Right? I love this race! (as much as I hate the racing a 10k in Central Park part itself). It’s always a riot. Glad we have nice weather and soooooo much fun on the course. And… get ready, ladies will be cheering this next weekend at this Sunday’s nyrr race… it’s on.

And the Garmin winner to my Guess My Finish time contest is MN Slow Runner, who guessed exactly 44:46, but there were SO many people who were super close!

photo 2

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10 thoughts on “Race Report: NYRR Oakley Mini 10K

  1. Pfft, you can wear booty shorts and a sports bra in any race. It’s all about being comfortable and if that’s comfortable, there’s no shame in it! Also, that is one crazy elevation profile! I wasn’t expecting it to look that crazy… must kill the quads.

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