I wanted to do another 5K because I like racing more than I like running. One of my friends had praised the races conducted by NYCRUNS, a relative newcomer in the NYC running scene. Although they offered racing services (registration, timing, etc) since 2009, they started offering races in the summer of 2011. The NYCRuns races are much smaller than the ones held by NYRR and far more affordable. For example, my race fee was only $10, with no processing fee. I was very much impressed with how well the race was organized. Signing up online was a breeze (I didn’t need to create a user account). I showed up about a half hour before the race, picked up my bib, warmed up, and the race started a few minutes past the announced time of 7 o’clock. My results were emailed to me about an hour after I had finished. Amazing!
Yesterday I participated in the NYCRuns Riverside Park Series sponsored by Jackrabbit, which was a biweekly series of 5Ks in Riverside Park. Riverside Park is a lovely 4-mile stretch of green space along the Hudson River in the Upper West Side. It’s one of my favorite spots because it’s less crowded than Central Park and far fewer tourists find their way there.
My goal was to set a new PR by running it in under 26 mins. My previous PR was 26:34, set a couple weeks ago when I did Hoboken’s Party with Purpose. The temperature itself was a pretty comfortable upper 70s, but the humidity index was high (though not nearly as bad as when I ran Party with Purpose). The course was a fairly simple out-and-back with a couple small loops. What I hadn’t anticipated was how hilly the course would be. There were two fairly decent hills (which means that I ran each one twice). I intended to run with a 8:15 pace (I had a 8:13 split for the first mile), but the hills and not having completely fresh legs (still beat from the 11-miler on Saturday) took a toll on me. The second mile and third mile splits were 8:45 and 9:11, respectively. When I saw the finish with about .3 miles to go, I sprinted down. If I wasn’t going to reach my goal, then I at least wanted to beat my previous time. And I did with four seconds to spare. So my new PR is 26:30. I came in 7th for my age group (Women 30-39) out of 35 women (36 total, but one placed in the top 3 women). I didn’t obtain my original goal, but I’m still happy. I raced hard on a hilly course with somewhat tired legs. It was a good effort.
Here’s a clip of me going down one of the hills.
Riverside Park downhill run from Elle Park on Vimeo.