I did this race last year and had a really good time. I hadn’t done as much running in Prospect Park at the time, so while familiar, it wasn’t overly familiar. That could have been a good thing or not. I’m still figuring that out. It’s a really fun race, and they’re strict about a 2500-person cap. And the swag is usually something beyond a t-shirt. This year it was a buff. And the advantage of a 9am start in my borough where the subways, if on a Sunday schedule, at least aren’t dealing with construction?
Of course I was signing up!
I signed up almost as soon as I knew registration was open. I was the 411th person to sign up (they assign bibs in sign-up order, and I was bib 411) – probably the only time I’ll have a bib number that low (unless I sign up immediately next year and beat that number)!
I set te alarm for 6 so I could eat something and get ready. Gear: my new running skirts pumpkin dot capri skirt, my long-sleeved Brooks Run Happy shirt, my Girls Rule socks, Moving Comfort Fiona sports bra, my new Brooks Defyance 4s, and my Garmin 210. Food: before leaving I had a Gingerbread Clif Bar and some water; pre-race I had a pack of Chocolate Outrage GU; and on-course I had strawberry-lemonade nuun. I was set! Because the subway station at the corner of the park where I’d usually get off for this is closed in the Coney Island direction – and my other usual option is completely on the other side of the park with no cut through – I opted to do a few transfers. Still got there pretty early, even with trying to figure out which would have been the “front” of the Q-train that was recommended on the race website. Hung out with Bernd – a Front Runner who also did it last year – and then headed out into the sun so I could check my bag (I wanted sun before I took my sweatshirt off). At that point I met up with Elke, Dave, Amy and Patty (more FRNYers) and we all headed in our own way to the start.
There aren’t any corrals – just get where you are and await the start. The horn sounded and we were off. We started with a short loop, taking the road that cuts through the middle of the park and going around, so it was a while before we hit The Beast. I knew I’d started out fast when I hit the first mile marker and it was just under 11 minutes. I hadn’t intended to start out fast, but since I’d taken M-W off from running my legs wanted to go. I tried to reign them in, even walking during a run segment here or there so I wouldn’t blow up. Still, I felt really good throughout. When I got close to the end, I decided to push it and just go. First time I’ve felt like I might puke from pushing. I didn’t, but I felt kinda good that I did push that hard! 🙂
My final time was 57:17, so it was slightly slower than last year’s 56:57. But I’ll definitely take it. I felt good throughout, and going “just” 5 miles is definitely something that’s getting easier. And that’s a good thing!
Overall a fun race and one I think I’ll be looking forward to every year for the foreseeable future.