Quoting some lyrics from my favorite band, Iron Maiden – “Run to the Hills! Run for your lives”!
This past week I ran in two more racing events put together by New York Road Runners (NYRR), and it was a mixed bag of swamp-ass weather running, and retro good times! NYRR are the leading running organization in NYC, and they put on some well-organized events. Terrific leadership, and the volunteers at each race do a great job!
The first event was the Retro 4 Miler in Central Park. I always enjoy running here, as it’s close to home, and a spot I know quite well as I have put many miles in on those paths and roads around the park. You could not ask for a better Saturday summer morning in NYC. Sunny, breezy and not too warm out. The conditions were just perfect to get in a solid run. Plus, this was a one of their themed races. Classic cars, rock bands playing classic tunes, photo booth in a VW van, and an old-school Good Humor truck dispensing one of my favs, Fla-Vor-Ice popsicles! (had to go for the blue one, of course)
After I snapped some pics I headed for my assigned corral and could not believe the mass humanity already waiting to run. So many people complain about running and how they hate it, or even the thought of it, yet with the number of participants I view attending these races some actually must enjoy it.
I still have a love/hate relationship with running, but a funny thing has happened over the past two years. When I don’t get in my weekly runs I get bummed out. When I see others out there running during the course of the day I get kind of jealous. Oh No! Have I become one of THEM?
Back to the race. I had not been running that much the week before as I was away on the West Coast for a little vacation and friend’s wedding. There was a heat wave in the LA / Anaheim area where it was over 100 degrees almost every day. One day it even hit 116! No way in heck was I going to get heat stroke stupidly attempting to run in that. Not worth it. Yeah, right, it’s a “dry heat”. GTFO with that BS! Turn up your oven to 450 and stick your head in it. Hot is Hot! I hit the gym a bunch of times and stayed indoors to get in my fitness. Even without a lot of training while away it only took me a few runs when back home to get my legs going again.
The race itself had close to 5000 runners! The line lurched forward with staggered start times, so it took awhile before I hit the start line. Once I got going it felt good, and almost back to normal. Not my fastest time, and the pace each mile was all over the place, but just crossing the finish line was still a thrill. It’s all about getting the job done after all. There was a festival area afterwards, and it was fun seeing some runners wearing retro running gear in a contest up on the stage. Spandex, tube socks, 70s’ gym shorts, and flower power for all!
And then there was Monday night. Oh Monday, why do you always have to be so EXTRA?
The second event, on Monday night was the Brooklyn RUN 5K. I have participated in this run before and it’s a fun way to break up the monotony of the Monday blues. When I arrived in Prospect Park and headed to my assigned runner corral I was greeted with a snaking line with thousands of other runners. Not only was I looking at the reality of standing around like a herd of cattle (moo!) for a long time before hitting the start line, it was also HUMID! Again, just like last year, the day this race landed on was a hot soupy mess. MOIST is the best way to describe it. Everyone was a hot sticky mess, and that was just while we were standing around at 7PM waiting for the starting gun to go off!
This race also had close to 5000 participants. One big hot sweaty gross mass of humanity. It was one of those races where you wanted to get it over as quickly as possible. Good thing there were water stations and sprinklers along the course to refresh us, as each one was much-needed.
The heat got to me a bit during this one, and I had to pace myself a bit, yet I still did a decent time. As I crossed that finish line I gulped down two cups of water. Then headed for the ice pops that were being handed out. Those were a cool treat. There was a festival area with some lawn games and food trucks, but I think many of us just wanted to grab our ice pop and head out to find somewhere with air conditioning!
Overall, it was a good week of running adventures. Race #54 on the road to 100! Of course, it will probably be a humid and rainy day for the next run. After all, it is summer in NYC!
New York Road Runners – https://www.nyrr.org/