Name of the race: Prospect Park Track Club Al Goldstein Speed Series #4
Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
Date: July 1, 2015
Time: 7:00 pm
Terrain: One loop around Prospect Park, one big hill at the beginning
Entry fee: $5 per race if you register before 10 am the day of, $10 at the race, and $25 for all 7 races
Post-race Food: Water
Performance: Overall: 134/289;Gender 32/106; Age Group (35 – 39) 3/13
Weather: 85 degrees, 53% humidity
I’m slowly catching up on my race reports. This is a 5K I did three weeks ago. It’s a part of the summer 5K series that the Prospect Park Track Club puts on. They host a no-frills 5K in Prospect Park every other week all summer long for $5 or $25 for all seven races. The race has no swag – no shirt, no water stations (but water is available at the end), no anything, except for a bib and chip timing. I love having a no-frills race because it means I can race more on the cheap. I wasn’t planning on doing this race, but I got out of work earlier than expected. I texted Ben to let him know that I would be coming home in time for the race. He waited for me and we went together. Because I registered at the race, it was $10, which is still a great deal.
I couldn’t find my Garmin so I have no idea what my mile splits are. My general plan was to take the first mile easy because of the hill, and then use the downhill to help me speed up. In reality what I probably did was do the first mile way too fast and then slowed down and tried not to die for the other miles.
My only goal for this race was to beat the prior 5K time I got at O’burg Mine 5K (24:38). I ran and did my best to not get caught up with chasing the front runners (next to impossible for me). As I settled into a pace that I thought I could hold for three more miles, I noticed that someone around me was breathing VERY LOUDLY through their mouth. I will now refer to this person as Mouthbreather. The only way I could describe how loudly Mouthbreather was breathing is let you know that even when she about six feet ahead of me, I could still hear her breathing. It’s very difficult to hear people moving ahead of you because the sound is traveling away from you, plus there’s ambient noise from other people. Despite all that, I could hear her very clearly.
Mouthbreather definitely targeted me as her competition because her running changed depending upon where I was. At first she was ahead of me and I passed her. She then spent the next mile plus trying to catch up to me. I kinda appreciated her because whenever I slowed down, I could hear her gaining on me, so I could gradually speed up and keep up the pace. Then finally at one point, she passed me again. She looked back at me several times while I was behind her. Eventually I passed her again. While I was passing her, she tried to speed up. I wasn’t worried about her beating me because I could tell that I was running far more easily than her based on our breathing. I don’t have much of a kick, but I had enough energy to out kick her if the finish line should suddenly appear. When I got ahead of her again, there was less than a mile left in the race. I urged myself to go faster and tried to escape Mouthbreather.
I saw the finish line and the clock. I knew I would just barely beat my old time, so I kicked it as best I could. Ben cheered for me as I raced down. I came in at 24:35, which was 3 seconds faster than what I got at O’Burg 5K. I was happy with my time and grateful for Mouthbreather because her presence definitely made me go faster than I would have otherwise.
Ben and I left before the awards ceremony because we figured we wouldn’t get any AG awards because several of the PPTC members are very speedy. At home when we got our results (NYCRuns always emails you the results), we found out that I actually got 3rd place for my AG. A nice surprise!
I got the medal a couple weeks later when I went back for the next 5K race.
This race wasn’t my first experience with a race hosted by PPTC, but it was my first race for the 5K series. I love that they have no-frills 5K race so cheaply. I get to race (which I love) cheaply (woohoo!) and don’t get more cheap cotton shirts that I don’t wear or need. I rather have a cheap race fee and no swag than pay more money for things that I don’t want or need. Swag can be nice, but I really don’t need more race shirts. They never wear out and I’m drowning in them.
If you’re in Brooklyn, I definitely recommend doing these 5K series.