|I ran the Fitness Magazine Mind Body Spirit Games 4 mile race in Central Park yesterday.
The day started at 6am when I woke up and got dressed. I grabbed a bite to eat and was out the door. First I had to brave the New York City Subway system in the early morning of a weekend, which translates into no trains. Even though the system is 24 hours there are times when it is tough to get a train. Being familiar with this phenomenon, I left plenty of time to get to Columbus Circle where I was meeting Chelly. This was going to be her first race and I had agreed to join her (who are we kidding, I talked her into the whole running thing ;-D ). I was excited to be running in Central Park. I've watched the marathon go through the park since I was a child, but had yet to run there myself.
Chelly pulled up to the curb in a cab right on time. After a little chat and pep talk we headed uptown through the park to the start area. We picked up our numbers, race t-shirts and chips and then wandered around the start area picking up swag. With quite a few large corporate sponsors, there was plenty of stuff to be had. I got a free hat and and a pair of socks. Another sponsor was giving out water bottles and a few had sweepstakes giving away gym memberships and gift baskets loaded with their products.
Shortly before the start, Chelly's running coach from her gym joined us. Clara was going to run with Chelly for support. We had agreed that we would run at our own pace and not feel that we had to stay with each other. I'm glad that Chelly had someone to run with for her first race.
This was a rather large race. I think there were about 3000 runners so they had us gather in groups by our expected running pace. They released each group in stages. This meant that those of us expecting to do a 10 minute or more pace were left standing at the starting line for almost 5 minutes after the start of the race. I stuck with Chelly and Clara for probably the first quarter of a mile and then began to pull away. I was feeling great and had to keep myself from running too fast for the first mile. I managed to hit my Forerunner just shy of the first mile to get a lap time. The first mile was about 10:55. I picked it up after that and got another split at the end of 3 miles of 20:41. At that point, I felt so good that I decided to kick it up another notch and I ran the last mile in 9:23! My official finish time for the race was 44:57 with a net time of 40:47 and a total pace of 10:11 per mile.
I'm very pleased with the results. This is a fairly flat course and it is totally paved. The crowd made it a little difficult to maneuver and I did get stuck behind groups of slower runners a few times.
Chelly has photos up on her blog of our race day. She sent me some and I'm closing this post with one of me lazing with the doggies at FAO Schwartz toy store.