Two weeks ago Ben and I partook in NYRR’s (fairly) new program to get the community running – NYRR Open Run. You may have heard of parkrun, which is a world-wide organization that offers free timed 5Ks. There are a few places in the US that do parkruns, but it seems to be more popular in the UK. NYRR Open Run is quite similar; NYRR Open Run offers free weekly timed 5K at various locations around NYC on different days. The closest one to us is at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Thursday nights at 7 pm.
The event is completely volunteer-initiated and driven. It’s a low-key friendly event and because they’ve been doing this for a number of weeks, there were several runners who knew each other from the prior weekly runs. We loved that it was a dog-friendly event, so obviously we brought Bandit with us.
The timing was very old-fashioned. They gave you a strip of paper that had your “bib” number on it that you pinned onto yourself. That paper would be ripped off when you cross the finish line. One volunteer kept track of the times of when runners crossed and another took the pieces of paper and slipped it onto a wire or a stick to keep the pieces of paper in order. I saw this once before when I did very cheap 5K in SF last year. I was quite amused to see it again. As much as things get better with technology, old-timey things still have their place in our modern lives.
I wanted to do the Open Run because I like Brooklyn Bridge Park and on Thursday I had planned on doing a 3-mile tempo run. I figured I was more likely to hit the paces if I did the tempo run in a race setting. Sadly my Garmin broke a while ago, so I was running naked. While I’m pretty good at settling into a pace for a longer run, I really suck at it at shorter distances. My intention was try to hit 7:45.
First mile was 7:21. Whee! I was flying!!!!! Too bad I had another 2.1 miles to go. Yeah, I went out WAY TOO FAST, so I slowed down terribly for the other miles. I pushed myself as hard as I could and tried to keep up with the other runners as we dodged between pedestrians. It’s Brooklyn Bridge Park so there were many people enjoying the park, other than us runners. I was feeling uncomfortable during the last mile because I had the sensation that I needed to use the restroom.
I was happy to be running around the last pier because I knew then that I was feet away the finish line. One last gasp. One last push. Done. I gasped to Ben that I needed the restroom and I shuffled off. I really hate when this happens, but as soon as I entered the restroom, I no longer NEEDED IT. It was a phantom sensation. Grrrr. . . .
One of the lovely volunteers made matzo caramel chocolate (matzo covered with caramel and then dark chocolate with a sprinkling of sea salt). It was incredible. I could have eaten the entire container.
We sat around and chatted with other runners. It was nice evening to be out. We waited around to see how the results would be posted (it was a timed race and volunteers were working hard in recording our times), but nothing ever showed up. We thought perhaps they would post it online, but we couldn’t find results there either. So who knows where the results are.
In any event, it was a fun free 5K. We’ll definitely do more of these this summer.