I had my eye on this race for a while. I thought it would be fun to do an evening race (start time was 7pm) as opposed to the usual early morning ones, but I was supposed to be filming some videos for work that day (which means I wouldn’t get out of work until 8pm at the earliest). Luckily, the shoot got pushed, so my friend Lindsey, who is also doing 9+1, and I decided to run!
We got changed at work and headed up to Central Park. Race Day Central was all the way up at 100th Street (it’s usually at 72nd Street), but the subway made it easy to get to. We picked up our bibs without a hitch, managed to pack our purses and clothes from the day into the clear plastic bags they give you for bag drop and explored the fun things they had going on.
The R-U-N 5K is a unique, social-themed run and was made to feel like a healthy happy hour of sorts. The pre-race festival had a whole slew of fun things going on, including a speed toss for kids, jumbo Jenga (like at the Queens 10K), a DJ and a photo booth. Of course, we hit that up:
After a quick pee stop, we headed over to the corrals. Since this race is supposed to be more social vs. competitive, the corrals were split up in a really interesting way. The first few were for those who wanted to run the race for time. The other 4-5 corrals were based off social interests.
When you signed up for the race, you took a little survey indicating what you like to do for fun. Based on that survey you were put into a corral, so you’d be surrounded by people with similar interests – hence the social part! Apparently I chose to run the race for time (not sure why), but it ended up being a good thing. Lindsey had plans later in the evening, so she wanted to start earlier than her social corral allowed. We waited for the corrals to fill up a bit and I snuck her in with me (shhhhhh).
I took a few Snapchats (follow me @fitfulfocus), and went to turn on my Garmin. It died before it could even pick up a satellite signal. Whomp whomp! I took it as a sign that I should run the race technology free! I put my headphones away and just took in my surroundings. I haven’t run sans music/podcast in a long time, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it! I need to do that more often.
Some dude started shoving me as our corral was walking our way to the starting line. Uh… chill dude… we’re not even at the start yet. Plus, this is supposed to be a fun, social race. He shoved me over and jogged past me, only to get stuck by other people up ahead. Dude was trying to race before the race even started. I ended up passing him at the start. Take that, Pushy McPusherson.
Anywhoooo… the race started at 89th street. It was flat for a bit and then we enjoyed a little downhill. We turned left at 72nd street, hit a little uphill, and then it was pretty smooth sailing from there. There were two water stations along the course and both had water and sparkling apple cider. How fun! I opted to just keep running since the course was so short to begin with. Since the course was short, it was pretty crowded until mile 2. I was weaving in and out most of the race, and didn’t really feel like a found my space until the last mile. I’ve done so many other races in Central Park, though, that that’s to be expected.
I ended up finishing in 27:20 (8:48 pace), which is pretty good considering it was a summer day. I’ve never really kept track of my 5K times in the past, so I’m not sure if this was my fastest or not, but I’m going with yes. Sooooo hooray for a PR?!
There were bagels, water and fun popsicles at the finish line. I grabbed a popsicle, but couldn’t eat it (silly corn syrup) and got a faulty water cup. What the heck, cup?
It was a bit of a walk back to Race Day Central, but once there, I hoped in line to get my race swag. Boom.
I’m so thankful this race fell on the day it did. The heat wave in NYC finally seems to be over, so while it was still a warm day, it wasn’t dreadfully hot. It was also really nice not to have to wake up at the crack of dawn for a race!
Key takeaways from this race:
- Run more in the evenings.
- Run more sans tech.
- Pushy McPushersons don’t get anywhere in life… or in races.
Have you ever run an evening race?
Do you ever run sans tech (no gps or music?)?
Ever encountered a rude racer?
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