Name of the race: Roosevelt Island Hot Chocolate 5K
Where: Roosevelt Island, Manhattan, NY
Date: Dec 15, 2013
Distance: 3.11 miles
Terrain: Flat road race around the island. Slushy and icy in some areas
Entry fee: $35
Post-race Food: Bagels, apples, on-the-go applesauce pouch, Muscle Milk, and hot chocolate with whipped cream
Weather: 32 degrees F, light winds, and 80% humidity
The Roosevelt Hot Chocolate 5K/10K was my last race of 2013. I signed up for the race months ago because a friend who runs only intermittently asked me to do the race with her. The plan was that we would run and then go out for brunch to catch up. The thought of doing a hot chocolate run sounded like fun. I recruited some of my other friends to do the race with us.
There’s a danger with racing in the winter. Weather conditions are far more variable in the Northeast. One day it can be chilly with fast falling snow and the next day warms up enough to melt the snow and make it seem as if the frosty weather from the day before was just a mirage. Snow fell rather heavily on Saturday morning and stopped in the afternoon. NYCRuns sent an email letting us know what was going on with race contingency plans. If the bad weather continued, the race was cancelled. If the bad weather stopped, bu the road conditions were somewhat hazardous, they would turn the race into a fun run. If the road conditions were not too bad, then the race would go on. We would know by 7 am on Sunday. Saturday I waffled over doing the race and decided to leave the decision til the morning.
Minutes before 7 am, NYCRuns sent an email stating that the race was good to go and to bring an extra pair of shoes and socks to change into. With that, I decided to do the race with my friends from Jersey City. Originally, Nell, K (the guy), and I registered for the 10K. Agnes registered for the 5K, as did my other friends, who later on decided to DNS because of the weather and road conditions. It was quite nippy and those of us who registered for the 10K wondered if we should switch to the 5K. After a brief conversation with the race director who said that if he were running, he’d do the 5K, we all decided to switch.
I was never so happy to run through slush in my entire life before. Great swathes of of the course was ankle deep in icy slush and I gingerly tiptoed through. Normally I would be quite miserable, but knowing that I only had to run through once instead of twice for the 10K, made the me very very very happy. I ran a conservative race because I didn’t want to slip and hurt myself. The fun part about running so slowly was that I had plenty for the final stretch. Normally I don’t pass many people (or any for that matter) in the final half mile to mile of a race. But this time I was passing people left and right. I saw the finish line banner and a guy running a fair distance in front of me. When I’m running at my threshold I know I can’t pass anyone that far ahead. I’m already running as fast as I can and it’s all I can do to hold on. This time, it was another story.
I decided to sprint to the finish line and use this race as training for developing a kick. I flew down the road to the roaring cheers of the spectators. The guy looked up in surprise as I whizzed passed him. He didn’t bother to try to put up a fight. I was flying.
I was so happy that I finished the race without slipping and falling (I’m really clumsy) that I practically danced across the finish line. My final time is about 25:20. Since I switched at the last minute, I don’t have an official time. NYCRuns has a policy of no race-day switches, but the race director let us switch but told us that we would have no official time. I’m fine with that. I knew it was not going to be a PR day for me. I was simply happy to get a few outdoor miles on my feet.
Agnes, who was officially registered, won first place for her age group. We were quite happy and excited for her because this was her last race in the US before she leaves us to go back to England. We’ll miss her sunny nature. She was a regular on our Tuesday night runs and a great contributor of the many hysterical conversations our running group had over beers at a nearby pub.
As usual, NYCRuns had a great spread of bags and bags of bagels, and best of all hot chocolate. Absolutely delicious and necessary after a cold, cold run.