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!