NYRR Team Championships – a 5 Mile race and a Dashing Whippets’ picnic!

And we started August with a bang! I decided to sign up for this race pretty much a week before. I am glad I did because Patricia and I ended up leading the women masters for the team: everyone else was at a beach somewhere, which is, SURELY, what we all should have been doing that day! I woke up at 6 and it was already “warm”….

The NYRR Team Championships is a race to be raced only by NYC running team members, where we all get team points in different categories and stuff like that (more here). It’s quite a different vibe, a bit more competitive, but on the other hand, EVERYONE on a team is in the park either racing or cheering. The whole 5 miles were pretty much lined with people, usually cheering for one team, but the crowd support was fantastic.

The men and women race separately. And it’s a smaller race, with about 700 finishers for each gender: that’s a huge difference compared to any weekends’ regular 5000 participants race! So, it’s QUITE a different vibe to say the least! The men’s race was at 8:30 but I was up early so I met the team at 8 am to cheer. It was quite hot already. We did some fun cheering.

Dashing Whippets Cheering! Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

Dashing Whippets Cheering! You’ll recognize me easily from now on from my PINK shorts…!
Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

team champs 2014 nyrr elizabeth maiuolo cheering  (2)

Dashing Whippets Cheering! Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

team champs 2014 nyrr elizabeth maiuolo cheering  (6)

DWRT. I think the logic here is that runners are coming from the right…???? Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

team champs 2014 nyrr elizabeth maiuolo cheering  (5)

Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

team champs 2014 nyrr elizabeth maiuolo cheering  (4)

Dashing Whippets Cheering! Photo Credit: Brian Donaghy

Anyway, I tried to not get overly hot and sweaty and save it for the race, but the women’s race was starting at 9:30 am, there was nothing I could do: it was HOT. And you know I LOVE THE HEAT… I went to a water fountain, soaked my singlet, soaked my hair… It was all dry in two minutes. It was gonna be ROUGH. Patricia and I headed to the corral early, there was no one there and we kept being yelled at to get to the front. We really didn’t want to. After the 10th time, we moved up, just assuming they’ll start yelling at us and we could move back. We kept chatting and when we noticed we were in the front and couldn’t move back at all. I just made sure we were as close to the side as possible, I was so scared I’d get trampled over!!!!

NYRR did a few shots with the us, and a lot of Dashing Whippets that were right there, which was cool. In case you’re not from NYC, that blonde gentleman on the left is Peter Ciaccia (President, Events, and Race Director, TCS New York City Marathon) and the other gentleman on my left is Michael Capiraso (President and CEO of NYRR). I’d say this is a cool shot:

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo - NYRR

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo – NYRR

A few seconds later Henrietta shows up and lines up right there, THANKS!!! YOU hold the masses and lead the Whippetes, OKAY??? Patricia and I keep chit-chatting, it’s our thing…!

Photo Credit: Jay-R Mojica

Photo Credit: Jay-R Mojica

Photo Credit: Jay-R Mojica

Photo Credit: Jay-R Mojica

Soon enough Jonathan Kline, another team mate, sings a lovely version of God Bless America and it all becomes WAY TOO REAL. I am racing this, I am UP HERE in the front, I am gonna get trampled over, I FREAK OUT a bit. Everyone’s faces is GAME ON, I am OMG what am I doing here?

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo - NYRR

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo – NYRR

These pictures are from the NYRR Gallery, which is here, but there’s a cool NYRR video here, I didn’t get trampled over, thank Pre, it was actually OK… 😉 I get scared for nothing sometimes

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo - NYRR

Photo Credit: Da Ping Luo – NYRR

soon, very fast, we get spaced out. Sooner though, with about 300 meters in,  I was questioning my sanity. What am I doing? It was just way too hot to race, and 5 undulating miles in the park seemed like an ultra. For about 2 minutes I kept telling myself Elizabeth, this is the best workout you could do today, just do the workout, it’s just a workout, on and on… Which is true. This is not my goal race and the truth is I NEVER run as hard as when I race, so racing shorter races is the best workout I could do, off with the race pressure and ON with the workout. Just run. But I really really really wanted to give up.

Before Mile 1, on the top of the reservoir, I spot Juan. I KNEW he’d be there, but I was so hot and out of it, I almost forgot and was all the way on the other side of the road…

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Photo Credit: Iron-Juan, husband extraordinaire

Check out how it’s not as crowded as it usually is… so much nicer. I ended up racing around the same group of 4-5 women the whole race!

I had looked at the last 5 miler I had done in the park, in 34:36 and wrote the laps in my hand (6:50, 6:59, 6:47, 7:16, and 6:41) just so I’d have an idea where I was, even though the course started somewhere else. I obviously discarded a PR in this weather, but I was hoping I could stay close. Mile 1: at 6:59, not so bad. It did feel like I had a LONG WAY to go though… Mile 2: 6:50, I am getting faster? that’s not gonna last… so far, I am doing the same time I did 4 weeks ago. But it shouldn’t be… When the pic below was taken, I was about past Tavern on the Green. I did high-five and yelled back to a lot of people on the course!

Photo Credit: NYRR Gallery

Photo Credit: NYRR Gallery

Mile 3 was a struggle, there was a group of us, pacing each other. I’d like to say we kept switching the lead, but really, we kept falling off… oh well, it’s just a workout!!!! Mile 3:  6:57. Oooops, there I lost 10 seconds to my previous 5 miler…. I see where this is going…! Mile 4 is close and I know I need to save something for the last bit, plus, this is when we all fall apart, oh, and Cat Hill ON FIRE. Mile 4: 7:15 (gained a second!)

As soon as I turned on 96th, I see Juan again, I knew I had less than a mile and I waited to hit the gas. I wasn’t sure I had much left.

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

Photo Credit: Juan Becerra

But then it happens. ALL THE TEAMS OF THE WORLD are lining up the last mile. The WHOLE LAST MILE. It was quite overwhelming… You’d see so many of us surge, and fall back and try to keep the momentum (I still have to yell back, and thanks and high-five!) but it was super super amazing. SO SO SO LOUD and awesome. Mile 5: 6:49, the fastest!!!!! Plus , I run a 0.05 extra and it was at 6:23, so you know I came in hard!

laps

Given the hills you can’t trust the pace, but the heart rate tells the whole story….

Stats Time:

Finish time: 35:09 Average Pace: 7:02

Previous PR: 33:36 From: June, 2015

Age Grading: 71.17%

Overall and Gender Place: 93 of 694

Age Place: 9 of  99

7:02 pace in Central Park on hell-hot weather is a win any day. Hey, finishing this race in ANY pace was a win. I really wanted to leave. REALLY. The fact that I didn’t walk out is what makes me the most proud. I wish they could start this race a bit earlier… or install misting stations every 10 yards?!?!?!

Plus, I am happy I got some points for my team. Patricia was the #1 master and I was 2nd, so there’s that. PLUS PLUS, there was a Dashing Whippets picnic after. SO, THAT. Celebration Nation.

I ate about 5 of Lara’s cookies, then a few donuts from Dough Loco, then some popcorn, then some chocolate covered pretzels, and a few more things I’d rather forget: NOTHING of the healthy stuff WE brought… (hahaha, of course not). I was ready to lay down under a tree and sleep it all off for a few hours. But, before, there’s a group shot!

Missing some team signs letter!

Missing some team signs letter! WHERE IS THE T??????

team champs 2014 nyrr elizabeth maiuolo dashing whippets dwrt group team (2)

That is Lillie, Patricia’s girl and future runner, making the shot way cooler and Frencher

team champs 2014 nyrr elizabeth maiuolo dashing whippets dwrt group team (1)

One of the final shots. With Bryan as the star!!!

team champs 2014 nyrr elizabeth maiuolo dashing whippets dwrt group team (4)

then Patricia Tirona had the cool idea to shoot the Master Women’s, plus Lillie!

So, I declare, every single race needs to end with a picnic, really.

Did you do this race? Did you melt? What did you do this weekend?????

Also, don’t forget you can still play and win a Newport Half Marathon Entry Giveaway!

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10 thoughts on “NYRR Team Championships – a 5 Mile race and a Dashing Whippets’ picnic!

  1. Hi Elizabeth!! Great post and congrats! I am running my first 5K TONIGHT! Riverside dr. I will let you know how it went tomorrow. Not sure how long it will take me (probably a looonnngg time) but I am HAPPY that I can run 3 miles in a ROW without stopping … 🙂

    Like

      • I LOVED IT!!! My goal was to FINISH, not WALK and not FAINT. I accomplished all 3 – YAY! My time was 35:35!! My husband brought my kiddos to the finish and one of my sons’ asked me if I WON … I was like … well, besides the other 100 people that finished before me – YES!! (He is only 5 😉 Anyway … LOVE your posts!!!

        Like

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