Race number 17 was the NYRR 50th Anniversary Run. We ran the lower 5-mile loop counter-clockwise, starting and finishing at Tavern on the Green.
Goals: i) to run between the water stations; ii) to set a PR (sub 45:06); and iii) to finish in under 45.
This race was capped without prior notice by the NYRR and I hadn’t remembered signing up for it (I’d been debating whether or not I wanted to get up early enough to get to a 5:30 am start), but then I received the e-mail from NYRR with the race details, so, after the Japan Day race, I stopped by the NYRR office to pick up my gear. There wasn’t any, so I just thought it was a mistake. Yesterday, though, the reminder message was still on my mind and I decided to call the NYRR to ask about it. Turns out, they did have a bib for me! Luckily, I was able to stop by again after work to pick up my gear – no race day pick-up for this one!
Unfortunately, the trains are bizarrely screwed up between midnight and 5 am, so I had to get up before 4 am to get to the start. It’s normally 45 minutes at most to get to the start, but this morning, I left the house just after 4 am (because I’d checked the train schedule and there was supposed to be a train at 4:11), waited half an hour for the downtown train, which runs on the downtown track as a shuttle, so there are only 2 each hour, had to cross over to the downtown platform at 168th Street, wait there for the train to take me the rest of the way, and arrived at the start at 5:25. I was exhausted and a little stressed, because I hate waiting!! Plus, I could have slept another half hour!!
So, we’re lined up and it’s pouring rain. There are the usual announcements, including a shout-out to one of the runners who was celebrating not just his birthday, but his 50th! He is the exact same age as the NYRR and is a runner!! What wasn’t announced, but was equally important to me, was that this was my 100th official race with the NYRR (not counting the two races that were converted to fun runs due to weather issues)!! So, less than ideal circumstances for a 5-mile run – the metal grates and painted white lines get slippery and I’m afraid to twist my knee, so I tend to be a bit tentative when the ground is wet. I decided that I would run this for fun and be glad that I was participating in such an important event for the NYRR and for me. I also knew from the course map that there was only one water station on the course (on the 102nd Street Transverse)**, so I wasn’t sure what to do about the breaks I usually take. I headed out nice and easy, but the humidity caught up to me and I ended up taking a break in the 2nd mile and then 2 more in the 4th mile. I also hadn’t realized I was running this race until the night before and had run a ladder the morning before, which I wouldn’t have done, otherwise. I’m not unhappy with my performance, though. I managed to hold on the last mile and brought it home fast – no finishing kick, but the entire mile was solid. At previous anniversary runs, they’ve handed out Little Debbie cakes at the finish, but I was disappointed to see that we got the usual bagels and bananas at this one. There were no medals or t-shirts or any other commemorative souvenir for this event, either, which seems strange. I have my bib, though, and I save all of them, so that’ll have to do!
Official stats: my official time was 45:30 for an average pace of 9:06. My splits were 9:08, 9:21, 8:52, 9:37, and 8:37. I was out 1156 of 1784 total runners, putting me in the 35th percentile. It was 55°F* with 97% humidity.
Celebratory treats: I know I didn’t hit my goals, but it was my 100th NYRR race and the 50th anniversary of the NYRR, so I’m celebrating!! I had one of my favorite breakfasts: toasted everything bagel with olive cream cheese from Bagel Maven, plus a Frango dark chocolate mint cookie from Sue, who ran 2 amazing track races the night before and kindly shared her celebratory treats with me. Thanks, Sue!!
Next up: Anaheim 5k (6/14)
Race pictures are available here (I haven’t had time to rotate or caption them, but I will as soon as I get a chance): http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157605437824364/
*The NYRR website says that it was 62°F, but one of the buildings we ran past indicated that it was only 55°F.
**This is not a complaint. Because of the need to have the course cleared for traffic by 7 am, I completely understand why there was only one station.