Today was my first race for this year - the 3 x 2 mile trail relays in Bethpage. This is always more of a fun time than a competitive one as you really can't compare your time on the roads with those on trails. I'm still the Runner's Rep for our running club, so it was my job to try and get people to come out for this thing and then handle the organization of getting teams together and everyone registered for the race. They decided to have the race on Saturday this year instead of Sunday as it's been for the last few years. Not sure if that was why the turnout was a bit lighter than usual. It might also have to do with the lack of advertising that GLIRC did for it this year. As of earlier this week, I wasn't even positive that the race was happening. That combined with the change in days (I wonder how many people are going to show up expecting the race tomorrow?) probably confused everyone. The club managed to field 4 teams this year. I headed out to the site fairly early so that I could get the paperwork out of the way and collect all the numbers. Traffic was light so I got there half an hour before registration officially opened. Turned out they were set up already so I got all the teams squared away. I ran with the same ladies that I've run with for the past 3 years. Because one of the ladies is only 29 years old, we always end up in the women's open category which keeps us from having any chance at a win, but it doesn't matter. I ran the first leg. I set out at a good pace, but was still pretty far back in the pack. All I could think about was not breaking an ankle in the first race of the year. That would truly stink. For the first time since I started doing this race, the course wasn't either icy or frozen solid. In fact, it was kind of soft and felt like a good part of it was a few inches deep in wood chips, which actually made for pretty slow going. I did manage to pass a few people, but found myself in a gap for most of my run. I finished my leg in about 17:20. I handed off to Christina, who managed a respectable 33:30 or so, which means her leg was about 16:10. Christina then passed it to Sue, who had already run the course once as an escort for a special needs runner and is also nursing a knee injury. The winner finished the race before Sue even started. There were a few wickedly fast teams there. We found out after, that the winning team did the first leg in under 10 minutes - less than 5:00 pace. The first team for our club was our Men's Masters team, who finished the course in 43:20, with the second team, our Mixed Masters team, right behind them in 43:35 and a win in their category. Sue brought our team home in 48:53, which means she managed sub-8:00 miles. Our fourth team, Men's Senior Masters, finished in 58:45. I'm considering doing a 5k next weekend, but I haven't registered for it yet. It's in upper Manhattan, which will be difficult to get to, and I've heard the course is seriously hilly. The main attraction is that I haven't done that particular race, yet. I'll probably make up my mind later this week.