oooops, how did I miss to write about this? Ah yeah, the TCS New York City Marathon was the next day and my brain is just now finding some empty space to process all the awesomeness that was November!
I had never done the Dash, never, yes weird right? There was always something. Either I was doing the marathon the next day (the Dash is Saturday, 24 hours before the TCS New York City Marathon), or I was working or I had to host a charity dinner Friday night, every year I had a reason. The reasons this year: there was a lot to do, there was a lot in my head prepping for marathon day and also this race was also holding the USA Track and Field 5K Championships which I’d love to watch.
But, that week I didn’t have time to run a lot so I decided to race and get one good hard workout off of the race to compensate and see what the hype was about.
This race used to be an unofficial run years ago. It used to be called the International Run or something like that, I can’t remember. Basically, everyone who was in town to run the marathon, would show up at this friendly run, bring their flag and represent their country. That all sort of evolved into the Opening Ceremonies, where there are groups representing each country and a walk right of the marathon finish line with a flag bearer (just like in the Olympics!) AND the Dash to the Finish, a 5K with a ridiculously amazing course. It looked tempting… the race starts at the United Nations, right where all the flags are lined up, we line up there too! Then makes a turn to 42nd St, you run by Grand Central Terminal, then the NY Public Library (or where you take the buses to the marathon for some of you!) then it turns on 6th avenue, and you run up there to Central Park where you run your last mile INTO AND THROUGH THE TCS NEW YORK CITY MARATHON FINISH LINE. How cool is that?????
Anyway, I was pumped. I got up Saturday, run the 1.5 miles to the start, I had a singlet and the race shirt over it to keep me warm during the run there. It was 40 degrees, perfect, so I was going to chuck the long sleeve and race in the singlet.
I have no idea why, an insane amount of pictures at the corral ensued!!!! get ready.
Eventually, the PROs in the front going for the Championships go. Rob said that he and Gordon were going to “take it easy” and if I wanted to join. They’re both WAY FASTER than me so I got confirmation that they were going around 8:30. Ok, I can handle that! I put the long sleeve back on if I wasn’t going to be going hard, and a few minutes later, we all got moving.
Danny took off. The 12-year-old Danny. Super fast. I thought someone had to go with him. Brian said he’d go, I thought I could do. Mmmm. NO. Danny would go and end up finishing in 20 something. Glad I noticed within 10 seconds. I went to the side and waited for Rob and Gordon. Turned out, their pace also felt hard for me (this was about 3 weeks after the marathon) but I tried to hang on.
Running down 42nd streets was SUPER COOL. It’s super wide so at no point it felt tight. Then you turn onto 6th Ave which is also really wide, and there were so many more people cheering. And you could tell, as this is a highly hotel-dense area, a lot of these people were the marathoners to be. I saw McGillivray cheering, then I saw Ashton Eaton cheering (I almost freaked out a little), Paula Radcliffe was right ahead… it was quite a scene… At some point, I noticed we were NOT doing 8:30s… more like 7:30s, which I should have been able to handle ok, but for some reason, I couldn’t. Gordon and Rob were chatting like they were seating for coffee, I was hardly trying to shout one-word answers.
Soon we were in the park for the last mile, and in a second we were by the finish line with all that awesome finish line awesomeness. I saw the 400 meters to go sign and I was SO happy I had only run a 5K and not a marathon…!!!!
We get to the finish and this happens!
So, I LOVED IT.
Great great course. I want all my 5ks to be there. My time was pretty weird, around 7:30 pace, but whatever: all that matters sometimes is the fun had on the course. It really felt like we were doing a mini-marathon. I am not the type to use the marathon word for anything that isn’t a 5K, but I am not sure what to call this. It wasn’t a chunk of the marathon course but the feeling was there. Just go and do it and you’ll get it.
Finish time: 23:25 Average Pace: 7:33
Previous PR: 21:09 From: July 2012
Age Grading: 22:31
Overall Place: 1122 of 10922
Gender Place: 257 of 5615
Age Place: 8 of 771