Race 9 was the NYRR 8k (my 8th marathon qualifier). Due to the late winter storm that passed through NYC (dumping 5.5 inches of snow in Central Park), the NYRR postponed the Men’s Championship 8k to Sunday and changed the NYRR 8k race to a fun run. Anyone who registered for the race received credit towards the 2008 NYC marathon, whether or not they showed up. The course was the same – we started on the West Side at about 70th and ran clockwise around the Park, crossing at the 102nd Street Transverse and running all the way down around the bottom of the Park to finish at Tavern on the Green.
Goals: I had a set of goals in mind for this race, but, if the NYRR thinks the conditions are too bad to race in, I’m going to follow their lead and not race this one. So, if I ever find another 8k race, I’ll reapply my original goals. For this one, I just wanted to run between water stations and not fall down. Okay, I admit, I did have a revised time goal – I wanted to break 50:00.
I decided to run the lower loop twice before the 8k, so I got to Central Park early. It was still pretty dark out and the roads were not plowed. I dropped my bag at baggage claim and took off against the race route, trying to keep it to a slow pace so I wouldn’t get too tired. I finished up in just enough time to run up to the start, where I was happily surprised to find at least a couple of hundred people who were ready to have fun! My friend Emily was there with her boyfriend Tom and couldn’t believe that people were actually going to do this. This is only her second race, so we’re going to have to get some better weather in to keep her going. I looked for Mark, but wasn’t sure if he was going to be there. The gun sounded and we all took off. This was a multi-terrain race: some ice, some snow, some slush, some pavement. It wasn’t too bad and not slippery at all. The only slippery section I ran on was the 72nd Street Transverse during my warm-up and cool-down. There were two water stations: one on the 102nd Street Transverse and another on the East Drive just before we ran down Cat Hill. When I was coming around to the bottom of the Park, I could hear the music from the skating rink (which was apparently open, because I looked over and saw skaters). I laughed out loud – Billy Idol was singing “Hot in the City”!! Not this city, Billy, but thanks for the giggle! The DJ at the skating rink has an interesting sense of humor! I wasn’t sure how the finish line would be marked, but there were two cones on either side of the rec. lane and an NYRR staffer calling out the times. As soon as I finished, I turned around and ran the lower loop one more time for my cool-down. I ran against the race route so I could cheer people on. I passed Mark about a minute back and then Emily and Tom a short distance farther along. I finished the cool-down and there were very few people left. I grabbed my bag, threw on my coat, grabbed a handful of bagels and apples (they were fully stocked for the original number of runners and were offering the extras to everyone), and headed down to Penn Station to catch a train to go visit my parents on LI.
Rave Section: As I was walking toward 59th Street, the volunteers were working on breaking up the ice and snow and slush that covered the course in preparation for tomorrow’s race. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m very impressed with the volunteers and staffers who come out for these winter races. They make sure we have fluids and encouragement and stay out there in the cold until we’re all done. I don’t think we’ve had a mild weekend this winter, but I have yet to run a race that wasn’t fully staffed (if not fully stocked). From what I’ve read, the Men’s 8k Championship was a success this morning, even though they had to change the course to multiple laps (the hard way) of the lower loop. Famiglietti won in 22:35 – that’s a 4:32 pace!!!
Unofficial stats: I finished in 49:12 for a 9:50 pace over the 4.97 miles, according to my sport watch and the NYRR staffer calling times at the finish line. It was 27°F (-3°C) with 74% humidity and 12 mph winds for a wind chill of 16° (-9°). My mile splits from my watch were: 10:04, 10:12, 9:53, 9:50, and 9:13 for the final .97 (9:30 pace).
Celebratory treats: My mom and I went to A&W and shared a cheeseburger and an order of cheese curds and downed them with (you guessed it) A&W root beers. And, after our St. Patty’s meal of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage, I had a green-and-white cookie for St. Patrick’s Day!
Next up: The More Half Marathon on March 25th and the Brooklyn Half Marathon on April 14th. I’m considering the Scotland 10k on April 1st, but haven’t committed yet. I’ll see how I feel after the More Half, which I think I will be running as a training run.
Thank you for all your support!
Here is a link to some random pictures, including my race picture, some pictures from the Park and at my parents’ place of the snow and ice from the storm, plus some food shots: http://new.photos.yahoo.com/album?c=mytripsandraces&aid=576460762394062403&pid=&wtok=uktd57q8cN5baCuqqDkMVQ--&ts=1174263213&.src=ph (as always, there’s commentary in the slideshow).