Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Media Challenge #4 (3.5 miles) 7.24.07

Hi all,

Race 22 was the fourth Media Challenge of the year (timing and injury prevented me from running the second and third – you haven’t missed any recaps). We run 3.5 miles – twice counter-clockwise around the lower loop in Central Park and then some.

Goals: There’s only one water station on this course and it’s at the finish, so I was going to have to run over 1.7 miles at a shot to keep from walking between rest stations. I was hoping to run 9:15s (based on my 9:11 pace in the 4-miler last weekend).

No warm-up today. I lined up towards the back with John (we were discussing the wonderful Jany) and took it easy going around the bottom of the Park, at which point I told John to go on ahead without me. I didn’t want to start out too fast without having warmed up and breathing was a bit difficult with the heat and humidity. I chugged along, keeping my eye out for News Corp runners (unlike my team, they actually have matching shirts, so were easy to spot). My team is now in third place, but close enough that even one good night could bring us to the top and I knew that News Corp is one of the teams we need to beat.* I passed a number of runners, including from my own team and picked a rabbit wearing the News Corp shirt and bright red shorts. I didn’t catch her on the transverse, so I knew I’d lose her when I stopped for water after the first loop. I started running again on the downhill and felt good going around the loop. I caught up with and passed every female who had passed me when I stopped for water (I only compete with females in these events). As I came around to the 72nd Transverse, I saw my rabbit again. I didn’t want to push it too hard, but as we moved towards the west side of the transverse, I started counting down the pavement lines between us, finally passing her just as we hit the turn onto the West Drive. I passed several other runners, but was only passed by one man before the finish.

Official stats: I finished in 31:45 for an average pace of 9:04 over the 3.5 miles – not a PR, but my second fastest time for this course, so not too bad. I was the 56th female finisher. My splits from my watch were: 16:08 (8:58 pace for the 1.8 miles), 15:36 (9:11 pace for the 1.7 miles). It was 74° with 65% humidity.

Celebration treat: hot chocolate soufflé

Next up: The NYC Half Marathon (8/5), Media Challenge #5 (8/8), and, hopefully, the Run for Home Plate (TBD).

Thank you for all your support!

*Each runner is scored by their place in the race. The scores of the top 3 females and the top 5 males are combined to determine each team’s score. The team with the lowest number of points wins. Our total was 68, so there’s a very good chance that we won. I’ll let you know when Sue, our team captain, gets the details and passes them on to us. She’s on vacation, so thanks to Mayumi for stepping up to the plate and leading us on to victory!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Race for Central Park 4-miler 7.21.07

Hi all,

Race 21 was the Race for Central Park 4-miler – we ran the new 4-mile course of Central Park, starting on the East Drive, just south of the 68th Street, crossing at the 102nd Street Transverse, then down the west side to finish on the 72nd Street Transverse.

Goals: To run between water stations and to finish with a 9:30 pace (38:00).

After staying up ‘til midnight to get my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I got less than 5 hours of sleep, and was sorely tempted to skip the race. It was originally meant to be a training run, because I intended to race the Run for Home Plate 5k, but with the postponement of that event, I had to race this one. I had arranged to meet Lana and Barb at 8 at the baggage check, but ended up at the Park by 7:30. I wandered around, wishing I’d eaten something, and checked out the various sponsors’ tents. I found Lana and Barb and we headed over to the start with plenty of time to stretch. We lined up at the 9-marker, wished Peter Ciacia (as far as I can remember, he has started all of the NYRR races) a happy birthday, then started at a slow walk when the gun went off. Three minutes later, after a false start or two, we were able to pick up the pace and cross the start line. With no warm-up, I knew it would be a slow first mile, so I skipped the water station. We hit the first mile marker at 10:08 and I calculated that I’d have to run 9:20 miles to hit my goal and wasn’t confident I could make it happen. I started pulling away from Lana and Barb, though, so I waved back and just let my legs go. I didn’t push myself and I felt comfortable. After crossing the 102nd Street Tranverse and heading down the rolling hills on the West side, though, my legs started to feel tired. At times, it felt like I was dragging my legs forward. I tried my visualization trick of imagining the world passing beneath me as I lifted my feet, but it didn’t work. I continued to struggle until I hit the water station just before the 3rd mile marker. I walked a bit longer through this water station (about 30 seconds), then took off running again. As I got up to pace, someone passed me and looked back at me. It was my friend, LK, whom I haven’t seen in over a year!! I was so happy to see him, but he told me to go on ahead because I had only 8 minutes to make my goal time. We agreed to meet up at the finish and I started putting on the speed. I wasn’t feeling tired anymore, but I didn’t push myself too much, either. I waited until I caught sight of the 78 lamppost,* which meant that I had about a half mile to go. At that point, I picked up the pace and started picking off the yellow- and orange-shirted runners. I was disappointed to find nothing left for a finishing kick, but was delighted when I stopped my watch with a final mile at 8:16! I don’t mind not having a finishing kick with a mile time like that!!

I walked back to try to watch LK, Lana and Barb finish, but there were so many runners coming through that I only saw Barb finish. I grabbed some plums for Lana (I can’t eat them, but I know she likes them) and headed over to where we’d agreed to meet after the race. We chatted a bit, then I went back to the Bandshell to watch the awards ceremony and to not win the raffle. I also stopped by the Cabot Cheese tent for some samples (there was no way I was going to eat cheese before the race), then headed home.

Official stats: I finished in 36:47 for an average pace of 9:11 over the 4 miles. I was 2427 out of 4038 total finishers, putting me in the 40th percentile. It was 63°F with 70% humidity. My splits from my watch were: 10:08, 8:46, 9:44, and 8:16.

Consolation treats: one of my favorite breakfasts – Golden Syrup-flavored oatmeal with Hotel Chocolat chocolate gems and Chocolate Abyss (hot chocolate that Lisa sent from England) and for lunch, a cheese soufflĂ© with a spinach salad, a slushy Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper, and some Carnival Skittles.

Next up: Media Challenge #4 (7/24) and the NYC Half Marathon (8/5)

Thank you for all your support!

*The lampposts in Central Park are numbered according to the corresponding street number. I use them to count down the blocks as I head towards the finish of my races. For non-New Yorkers, there are about 20 street blocks in a mile.

Pictures from the race and random pictures are available here:

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Very Special Night

Bobby Bostic, who recently ran the North Pole Marathon as a fundraiser for CFA, invited me to sit at the table he sponsored at the Challenged Athletes Foundation Celebration of Heroes, Heart and Hope benefit. I accepted not only for the opportunity to attend this amazing event, but also to meet him in person, finally, after exchanging comments and messages on-line for a while now.

The event started with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 6. I arrived at the Waldorf-Astoria to find crowds of people running up Park Avenue and clouds of smoke billowing out from behind the MetLife building. People were saying that a bomb had gone off in Grand Central, so I called my parents and had them check the news. It took about 5 minutes before the news broke, but the report was that a transformer had exploded and that terrorism was not suspected. So, I changed my shoes (to put on heels) and went inside.

At check-in, people were nervous and talking about the explosion, so I passed on the information I had, collected my bid number, and wandered into the reception (after being rerouted from the VIP recepetion, which I mistakenly tried to enter - I guess I didn't look fabulous enough). There were some very nice items up for bid (see the catalog here: (the link to the pdf is in the middle of the left-side of the page), but I was already out-bid by the time I got to the items I wanted. I sipped some Pellegrino and then wandered out to the restroom. Where I discovered not one, but two major ladders in my hose! On Abby's very good advice, I decided not to ignore it and left the hotel to get a new pair of hose. I left the hotel on Lexington to find a drug store and found avenue traffic at a stand-still. Well, to be accurate, there were no cars at all. North/south traffic had been stopped (cross-town traffic continued, presumably to get the cars out of the area) and the road was full of people looking downtown at the aftermath of the explosion. I called my parents again and learned that it was now being reported (accurately) as a steampipe explosion. I rushed uptown, got the new hose, rushed back and barely made it in time to sit for dinner.

The tables were laid-out beautifully and the appetizer was already available. I found my table and met Bobby and a few others at the table. The waiters informed us that it was time to tuck in (I'm paraphrasing) and then Sarah Reinertsen joined us, sitting between Bobby and me. I'm sure many of you know what a strong athlete she is, but I'm happy to tell you that she is also a very nice person - sincere and genuine. We chatted about New York and I explained how I'd met Bobby and then, between appetizer and entree, she headed off to mingle. She got back just in time to eat a quick bite before the presentations began. We saw wonderful films about various athletes, including Jim McClaren (the inspiration for CFA), Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, Major David Rozelle, Randy Garcia Tolson, Team Hoyt, and Sarah, each of whom (except Jim McClaren) also spoke. The entire event was just so moving and inspirational. Several board members were also spotlighted, including Bobby, who has personally raised over $500,000 for CFA. Some of their stories are on the CFA website, if you're interested.

When the presentation was concluded, we were served dessert and then the fun started. There was a live auction of some very special items (see the auction brochure). The bidding was slow, at first (though it exceeded my reach on the first call already in the thousands of dollars). The autioneer was pretty funny and made some good-hearted digs trying to get people to increase the bids for each item. The highlight of the auction was the bid for the slot in the 2007 or 2008 Ironman World Championships in Kona (which the auctioneer described as a chance to be totally exhausted). The winning bid was $40,000 and the man who won has just beaten cancer!

I was truly honored to be there and will be adding CFA to my list of charities. If you'd like to make a direct donation to CAF, click here: If you'd like to donate through Bobby's fundraising site, click here: They're doing amazing things to help challenged athletes around the world and the impact these challenged athletes are having is tremendous (e.g., Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah ( is changing the way his country thinks of physically-challenged people.)

Pictures (of some of the hotel decor, Lexington Avenue, and the food):

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Naples Park to Park 10k 7.14.06

Hi all,

Race 20 was the Naples Park to Park 10k – we ran the 6-mile loop of Central Park, starting on the East Drive, just south of the 102nd Street Transverse, continuing around the Park and finishing on the 102nd Street Transverse. The NYRR has “twinned” itself with the Napoli Road Runners and the first race of the Park of the Park event took place in June at the Royal Woods of Capodimonte in Naples.

Goals: To run between water stations and to finish with 10-minute miles. The tendonitis in my left leg was still bothering me, but one of the PTs who works on my leg suggested that I wrap my foot. I bought an Ace bandage and it really seemed to help. Rather than take the chance, I wrapped my foot for the race, too.

I’m still in recovery from the marathon, so I decided against a warm-up, but I did do some strides. As I lined up by the 9-minute marker, I saw Mark on the other side of the road and gradually worked my way over to him. We chatted a bit, but I knew I was going to go slow and told him to go on ahead. He very nicely ran with me a little longer, then went off to run his race. I struggled up the Harlem Hill, but managed to get to the top without stopping. The rolling downhills on the West Side were a welcome relief, especially because I knew that I’d have to run up Cat Hill on the other side of the park. I walked through the water stations (the first of which didn’t appear until the 3rd mile – not good in this heat, NYRR), but did have to make one extra stop. My top of my left foot was bothering me, so I stopped at just about the 5k point to retie my laces. I needn’t have bothered – it made no difference. I think it was the tendonitis acting up a bit. I thought about stopping quite a bit, but tried to keep myself going to the water stations. At one point, the water station wasn’t quite where I expected and I realized that it was only my perception that made it seem out-of-place. Running through the winter months, I could see quite clearly where the water stations were because the trees and bushes were mostly bare. Now, though, the Park is lush and full and the water stations are hidden around corners. I can’t say which I prefer, but it certainly is prettier now. I made it to Cat Hill and fully expected to have to stop and walk a bit, but I was able to climb the hill at a run, saluting Cat as I passed. As I came up to the flat section of the East Drive, I was able to salute Fred (LeBow – the man who made the NYC Marathon what it is today) and then count down the blocks as I neared the finish. The first 5 miles were really tough, but this last mile seemed to be much easier. I felt like I was flying (and, compared to the pace of the first 5 miles, I almost was) and I tried to push it towards the finish. After the race, I wandered over to the awards area to wait to not win the raffle and Mark found me holding down the fort at the Naples table (no-one was there, so I sat down). We directed a number of runners to the raffle bowl at the next table, then listened to an Italian guitarist sing along to his guitar. A number of runners were given medals, though it wasn’t clear why they were singled out. It’s possible that they ran both events (this one and the one in Naples). We walked back to the subway together and then I headed out to LI to visit my folks.

Official stats: I finished in 1:01:16 for an average pace of 9:52 over the 6.2 miles. I was 3122 out of 4556 total finishers, putting me in the 31st percentile. It was 67°F with 61% humidity. My splits from my watch were: 10:03, 9:40, 9:55, 10:49, 9:40, 9:22, and the final .2 mile split was 1:50 (9:10 pace).

Consolation treats: Dark chocolate mint Cadbury Fingers, which my friend, Lisa, sent me from the UK, and a Blue Woo Hoo Vanilla Squishee from 7-Eleven.

Next up: Run for Central Park (7/21) [the Run to Home Plate, originally scheduled for 7/22, has been postponed]

Thank you for all your support!

Pictures from the race, and from a very special shop here in New York, are available here (these pictures are pretty self-explanatory, so, contrary to my usual practice, the only commentary in the slideshow is a description of the last picture:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Santa Claus/Arctic Circle Marathon 6.30.07

Hi all,

Race 19 was the Santa Claus Marathon, also known as the Arctic Circle Marathon. We started on the north side of the Arctic Circle, ran south over the line, then 26.2 miles around northern Finland (around Rovaniemi).

Goals: I wasn’t sure what to expect after my recent bout with tendonitis and the adverse reaction to the medicine I was given to treat it. Rather than having a time goal, I wanted to run smart and finish without hurting my knees. Also, in researching the race, I read comments about people getting lost, so one of my goals was to not get lost. There were comments about the hilliness of the course, which I sort of disregarded until about 2 days before the race when I found the elevation profile on the race’s webpage: At that point, I wondered if “flat” and “very easy” have different meanings in Finland. And reset my goal to stop running whenever my knee hurt to make sure I’d be able to get through the entire race.

Jany and I took a nap in the afternoon to get some rest before the night race. We got up, dressed and went to the lobby to wait for the bus to Santa Claus Village. The few marathoner runners were milling around (I even saw some warming up and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t warm up myself), but Jany and I wandered around taking pictures. I loved that I was at the Arctic Circle. Santa came out and all of the adults suddenly turned into children, rushing over to get their pictures taken with him. Including me! In my pictures, he’s mostly walking away, trying to get over to start the race. All of a sudden, I realized that it was time to begin and I hadn’t even checked my bag. Jany took it for me, I ran over to the start and, before I had time to get my watch ready, the gun went off. I started my watch on the run and headed south. I had planned to start out at 12-minute miles, but hit the first kilometer marker at 8:25 pace – not good. I spent the first half of the race trying to slow down. The course was supposed to include Santa’s Workshop, but they discovered mold or some other fungus and it’s been shut down for reconstruction until November. I was very upset when I learned this. We ended up running through a residential area along the pedestrian road. The rain started shortly after the race did and for quite a while, it was a downpour – I nearly lost my contacts. I think it rained for about an hour and a half, including the light rain after the downpour. It wasn’t horrible, but our clothes were soaked and we had to carry that water with us the rest of the race – it was too cold for them to dry on the run. Anyway, I kept running the kilometers too fast and trying to slow down, but I felt like I was trudging. There was a British couple (an assumption based on their wearing Union Jack shorts) running in front of me that I tried to use for rabbits, but they got away from me during the rain. When I got to a certain point in the first half of the race, I started seeing runners coming at me. I freaked out a little, thinking I’d gotten lost (the turn-around is between 30 and 35 kilometers). I asked one of the guys if he was running the half (they were supposed to be on the same course as the full marathoners, but they started an hour later and split out at about 19k), but he was actually running the 12k. So I quit panicking and kept running. It became obvious, at about this point, that the rain had presented an unexpected hazard. The course was marked by chalk (the town would not allow paint) and the rain washed away the route in several sections. A number of people did get lost, including Jany and John and a couple of other runners we talked to at the finish. We ran into town and then past my hotel (temptation point 1). We crossed the railroad bridge after a slightly confusing turnaround (I saw one guy miss the turnaround and have to come back down off the bridge and run it properly). At the end of the railroad bridge was the split-off for the half marathon finish (temptation point 2). I followed the marathon course, but had to double check with the guide about which way to go. I trudged on and on, stopping every other kilometer or so to walk out my knee and do knee swings to loosen up the tendon. I was getting slower and slower, but I was still going (and wondering why the hell I was doing this with every painful step!). I concentrated on getting to the 25-kilometer marker, thinking that I would only have 17 to go after that. I don’t know why I picked 25, but that was an important marker for me. In fact, it was so much on my mind that I started thinking I’d already passed it. I had started counting down to 30 (my next important marker point, because then I could count down to 40), but the next marker I hit was 25. Confused? Oh, yes. But, I rallied and started the countdown over. When I hit the turn for the 5k to the turnaround point, I started on the wrong side of the street, but the volunteer called me back and got me onto the right (and correct) side of the street. This was the closest I came to getting lost. At this point, I started seeing runners coming back at me. I tried counting them, but when I got to 40, it was too depressing to think about how far back I was, so I quit counting (after I hit 50). I’d started passing runners by now (including the Union-Jack-butted couple) and, happily, was only passed again by only one of those people. The rest stayed behind me. At 30, I was desperately trying to speed up. I was tired and I hurt everywhere. My entire pelvis was aching (does that happen to anyone else? The bones were hurting so badly that I just wanted to curl up in a ball – I tried, but you can’t run that well when you’re curled over) and I really wanted to stop. But, I kept going. I hit the turnaround, running past the water station to make the turnaround before I stopped to drink and walk. Less than 10k to go now! I passed a woman who was running with a man, but heard him say he couldn’t help or needed help (they were German and my German is definitely poor, but I know the word help) and she ran on without him. We ended up passing each other for the rest of the race. I wasn’t exactly racing with her, because I was stopping to rest my knee whenever I had to (and probably more often than that – I’m very embarrassed about my mental performance (lack thereof) in this race), but she was running and walking at about the same pace I was. When I got back to the main road and was heading back to town, a mantra developed in my head: campers, festival, ValdeMare (the restaurant that hosted the pasta party), bridge (Lumberjack Bridge), hotel, finish. Those were the remaining landmarks and they sounded over and over and over in my head. I felt a genuine sense of relief pass over me as I passed each one and dropped it from the mantra. When I hit the 41km marker, I decided that I wasn’t going to stop again until I’d finished, no matter how slowly I had to go. I ran up the slope to the bridge, ran across it, and headed back towards town, passing my hotel again (temptation point 3). Turning up towards the town center and the finish, I hit the hill that I had told Jany I would be running up – and I did. She and John (a Runner’s World writer that I’d met before the race) were having a drink at Hemingway’s and I saw them briefly when Jany called my name. She ran alongside me, but I couldn’t stop. The German woman finished about 10 seconds before I did and waited at the finish for me, which I thought was so nice! I hadn’t meant to be racing her, but I think I helped push her along, after she lost her running partner nearly 10k back. My legs turned to rubber and I couldn’t move. Jany caught me and walked me to the food table for water, then walked me around, refusing to let me sit down, though she did let me lean at one point. I was shaking hard and turning blue, so she gave me her jacket. When I was leaning against a wall that was about thigh-high, another runner, Gina, who was in the same condition, came and leant with me. Jany went off to check the results and John came up to chat. Jany came back very excited, because she had WON the half marathon!!!! I knew she would – I’d told her and everyone who would listen (including John and the race directors) that she was going to win, but everyone, including Jany pooh-poohed me. I was soooo happy for her!!! She wanted to take me back to our room so I could shower and change into warm clothes (I’d forgotten to pack my warm coat, which I’d brought especially to wear after the race). Gina and I decided to walk back together, because I didn’t want Jany to miss the winning ceremony (she couldn’t get confirmation of when the ceremony would start and it was already close to midnight). Gina’s friend had come in 3rd in the half and Gina herself came in 3rd in the full, but we didn’t know that. She and I hobbled back to the hotel, cursing the hill that we now had to get down after having just run up it to finish. I had to lift my legs with my hands to get into the tub, but I made it. I showered in the hottest water I could tolerate, but as soon as I turned off the water, I was shivering again. I turned the water on again, but couldn’t get warm, so I just got out, dressed as quickly as I could (which was still pretty slow), and “hurried” back so I wouldn’t miss Jany’s winning ceremony. I ran into her before I’d even gotten back to the hilly street (whew). I was very sorry that I’d missed seeing her win, but we met some guys the next day who’d videotaped it and they’re going to send it to her (hopefully). My fingernails were still blue, so I was going to get back into the shower, but Jany told me to just get under the covers and I’d warm up soon enough and I did.

There weren’t very many spectators, but the few that were there definitely made up for it: one guy cheered us on right after the start, then biked across to where we circled back to head south to Rovaniemi; there was an entire family dressed in costumes; the volunteers at the 20k water station were dressed as elves and ringing jingle bells; the volunteers at the turn-around point were calling out cheers to everyone; there was a family on the turnaround road that called out “hup, hup, hup” to give us a cadence; another family was cheering and ringing bells and the children ran along with the runners for a little way (I know it wasn’t just me, because they ran back from running with me to run with the guy I’d passed before reaching them). And when we got back into town, everyone I passed was supportive and cheering – I didn’t encounter any of the smirkers complained about in the comments I read about the race.

The refreshment tables – these were well-stocked, but there weren’t quite enough of them! There were 12 possible stops, including the ones that counted double (10 separate tables) and the table at the finish. They had water, juice, Gatorade (plain, not Endurance), and a combination of 2 or more of the following: raisins, pickles, orange slices, bananas. Because my stomach was still bothering me, I was afraid to eat anything, so I just drank water and ate 3 of my gel packs. I should have eaten more, but I kept forgetting about them.

Official stats: I finished in 4:43:51 for an average pace of 10:50 over the 26.2 miles – no PR for me, which really distressed me. I was 66th out of 82 total finishers, putting me in the 20th percentile, and 17th out of 24 female finishers, putting me in the 29th percentile*. I was 4th in my age group, out of 6, putting me in the 67th percentile. It was about 50°F (10°C) and it rained for about the first hour. My kilometer splits from my watch were: 5:14, 5:53, 6:11, 5:44, 6:01, 6:29, 6:01, 5:44, 6:06, 7:08, 5:59, 6:08, 7:05, 6:18, 6:20, 6:18, 6:17, 7:11, 6:30, 7:17, 6:35, 6:13, 6:48, 7:46, 6:43, 6:37, 7:40, 6:59, 6:35, 8:01 [my watch only holds 30 laps – have to find a new watch] and the final 1.165 km split was 8:40 (7:26 pace).

Consolation treats: Eventually, I was able to indulge in some treats, including a Finnish Dr Pepper (oh, yeah – I found one – okay, more than one), some of the Thornton’s chocolates that Jany brought me from London, some Finnish candy (I love licorice), a cinnamon-bun-flavored ice-cream bar (!!) and a sauna (Finnish-style)!

Post-race wounds: the usual chafing, plus bands around my ankles from my tights; bloody holes in my heels from the zippers at the bottom of my tights; a swelling in the small of my back from the gel packs banging into me while I ran; a gel-pack-sized chafing wound on the right side of my back; a big bruise on my thigh (I have no idea where that came from, but it’s going away now); plus, every joint ached and my knee was really pretty bad. The joint pain was so bad that I couldn’t sleep all night, even though I took a Celebrex before I went to sleep. I also had to get up in the middle of the night to get food and water, because I hadn’t eaten anything or had more than a small cup of water to drink after the race. All I had was water (good) and Greek flavor Pringles (I’m going with good on that – carbs and salt!).

Next up: Naples Park to Park 10k (7/14), Run for Central Park (7/21) and the Run to Home Plate (7/22).

Thank you for all your support!

Pictures from the race are available here (as always, there is commentary in the slideshow):

I’m thinking about writing recaps for the pre- and post-race activities – let me know if you’d be interested in reading them.

Pictures from before the race are available here:

Pictures from the Hiking/River Rafting excursion are available here:

Pictures from the Shaman’s Village excursion are available here:

Pictures from the ATV excursion are available here:

Pictures from my last day and some random pictures from the trip are available here:

*One of the women in the 60+ category finished the marathon in 3:02, but I suspect she actually ran the half, rather than the full marathon. I was very impressed with her time and thought she might have been an elite runner at some point in time. My research, however, showed that her previous marathon times were 5+ hours. If she didn’t run the full, then I was 65th out of 81 total finishers, putting me in the 20th percentile and 16th out of 23 female finishers, putting me in the 30th percentile. Not much difference, but I like 30th better than 29th.