|Another weekend, another race. Gotta love the spring!
I was back in Central Park this weekend for the cavalcade of runners known as the Thomas G. Labrecque Classic 4M race for lung cancer. It was a cold morning, walkers in the park were bundled up in hats and mittens. We had sleet/hail the day before. I met Chelly at 8am so we would have time to pick up our bibs and warmup before the start of the race. The registration area was a madhouse. The organizers apparently wanted to funnel all the runners through a small stairway into a field where everything was set up. This created a milling mess around the registration area and put the baggage area nowhere near either the start or the finish. Rather inconvenient.
Once we got our numbers, chips and t-shirts we went to drop off our baggage. The area was covered with that lovely sand/dirt that is used to create ballfields. You know that orangey stuff? Do you remember me mentioning the previous day's weather? Yep, everything became coated in orange mud. Both Chelly and I had opted for black tights which were becoming quickly covered with orange marks. I dropped the Forerunner which was now a disgusting sandy orange mess. This day was not starting out well.
After we dropped off the baggage, along with all our extra outerwear, we headed to the starting line. There was quite a crowd. I heard the announcer using the number 6600 when referring to the number who had shown up. Wow. I mentioned to Chelly that we might want to line up a little closer to the starting line than normal as there seemed to be quite a few walkers and first-time racers. I've noticed that they often overestimate their abilities and also are not aware of the logistics of such a mass start. That puts them square in the way when you are trying to take off
After standing around for what seemed like forever, we heard the airhorn to start the race. And then we stood, and stood, and stood some more. I mentioned that the leaders were probably half finished with the race by now. It turned out that we took about 6 minutes to cross the starting line.
I stayed with Chelly for about a quarter of a mile as we picked up speed and then I waved to her and started to pull away. It actually wasn't too bad. The runners were pretty spread out and I was able to weave my way through the slower people in front of me. I noticed the hills more than I have in the past, but didn't have any problems with them. I think the race last weekend was great training for Central Park.
I felt really great running. The cramping that I've been getting in my left foot showed up - it might be because I'm running in a new pair of shoes, but it worked itself out after about a quarter of a mile. I ran the first 3 miles easy and only had to push a bit during mile four.
Official race time was 42:42 with a chip time of 36:10. Yes, that is another personal best. Gotta love being a new runner! I keep surprising myself, because my training is still not where I want it to be and I'm doing most of the training in the races themselves. But I think the course was fast - the winners set course records.
Chelly got a personal best, as well, soundly trouncing the 50 minute mark.
We hung around for the festivities after the race and took some silly photos. There were photographers at the race, so serious running photos should be appearing shortly. But, meanwhile, we mug for the camera!
I also got a nice shot of springtime in Central Park. Enjoy!