The races in the NYRR 5-Borough Series are quickly becoming my favorite races of the year. Starting with the NYC Half-Marathon in March, NYRR organizes one race in each of the boroughs for the year. If you complete 4 out of the 5 races, you gain automatic entry in the NYC Half-Marathon the following year (in this case, 2015). Since that race in particular is so hard to get into, I decided to take on the 4 out of 5 challenge this year and complete the 5-Borough Series.
When I woke up on Sunday (after a horrible night of sleep because I was worried about sleeping through my alarm) at 5:45, the sun was shining and it looked like near perfect weather for running. I even threw on a light long sleeved layer to stay warm. There is nothing worse than being too hot before the race even starts! The plan was to meet two of my great friends from CrossFit516 in Bayside so that we could carpool to the CitiField parking lot. There was a fee of $10 to park, so we saved a little money by driving in together. Needless to say, it is also so much more fun to do these races with friends. The parking situation was really easy, and we fueled up (LaraBars and KIND Bars for all) and headed to race day central.
Stopping for a quick photo opp
Before we knew it, it was time to head to the corrals to start! NYRR volunteers were being a little strict on the color-coordination for the corrals, but Astrid and I managed to just stick close to our two corrals so we could at least run the first mile together. This is my first race since the Long Island Half-Marathon in early May. That race really kicked my butt (probably too close coming in off the Boston Marathon), but seeing as this race was shorter (6.2 miles), I figured I could probably do it at a decent enough pace. Mainly, I just wanted to have fun, and get my credit towards next year’s half. My secret goal was to run it under an hour.
The race gun went off, and it took us 5 mins to cross the starting line. It was CROWDED. The course was relatively flat, but it didn’t really thin out at all the entire time. Usually that would frustrate me, as I would do more bobbing and weaving than I would like, but I actually didn’t mind it on this course at all. It was great people watching, and helped pass the time. I started to really feel the heat around mile 3. It was HOT. And I forgot sunscreen. Whoops. After mile 4, I was stopping at every water station and alternating water and Gatorade. Huge props to NYRR for setting up the sprinklers, too. Those were clutch.
My favorite part of the race (HA, of course it was the END) was when we approached and then wrapped around the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The crowds were fantastic for the last 0.2 miles, and I was definitely smiling crossing the finish line at 59:08. Eeked that one out! Goal=accomplished!
I’m looking forward to the next installment of the 5-Borough Series in the BRONX!
Special shout out to Astrid & Emilio for crushing this race!