Last Saturday I participated in a running fundraiser, No Man(hattan) is an Island, for my long run. The event is running the perimeter of Manhattan (about 35 miles) to raise money for The Herren Project, a nonprofit that raises awareness and provides support for people with problems associated with addiction and recovery. For $20, I was promised company during a long run and free goodies from generous donors (infused water from Juices Press, Huma gels, and a post-race meal from Mi Casa), so I was totally game to do this.
My intention was to run 20 miles and then head back to Finish Line Physical Therapy where we started and where the post-run after party was. I didn’t quite do this – the running part, the after party I totally got it down.
Saturday was another lovely overly hot humid summer day that gave no hint that fall is coming in less than two weeks. When I headed out to Midtown at 5:45 am, the morning air was already warm, moist, and sticky. If I were a lump of dough, it would have been perfect for setting out me out to proof. I sighed because when I would set out to run later that morning, it was only going to get worse in terms of weather.
I arrived at Finish Line Physical Therapy just after 6:30 am. The event was supposed to start at 7 am, but we didn’t actually start running until 7:30. By then, the sun was out in full force. The route was to run west toward the West Side Highway, head south, and run all the way around the perimeter of Manhattan.
I had a small bit of hope that perhaps I could do a 9:30 pace for 20 miles, but as I took my first steps, I discarded that plan and went immediately went to “survival mode.” I ran super slowly (11:00 mm for the first 10 miles) with a small group of women. I took a Huma gel just before Mile 5. After 10 miles, I stepped off the “course” to take a rest break and get a cold drink. Of course with a long rest break, I lost the people that I was running with.
I didn’t run into other people doing this event, so I decided to see how much more I felt like running on my own. The answer was not much.
I don’t know what it was, but I really didn’t want to do this long run. Even though this wasn’t the worst summer weather I had experienced, this was the the worst long run I had this training cycle. I don’t know what it was, but I’m wondering if having a break with cooler weather made it harder to run in warmer weather. It was a complete mess. I ran another 2.5 miles north on my own and then decided to run back to the Finish Line, which would end it at 15 miles. I decided that I would simply finish the other 5 miles in the evening for the 20-miler.
I ran through Manhattan. I wanted to quit running, but I bribed myself by promising me an ice cream float from Ice & Vice at Madison Square Eats, a culinary pop-up market. Totally worth it! The delicious Strawberries & Cream (Mexican vanilla ice cream, strawberry basil soda, rimmed w/ powdered strawberry, and topped w/ whipped cream, strawberry puree, pastry cigars, basil leaf, and basil sugar) found its way to my mouth after 15 hot sweaty miles. I totally love Ice & Vice (I actually hired them to provide artisanal ice cream floats at my wedding) because of their inventiveness of flavors and collaborations with other vendors. If you’re in NY, I definitely say Ice & Vice is a must visit for ice cream lovers.
It took like 10 minutes to eat the float because 1) it was delicious and 2) I was so hot that I downed the float to cool down.
I walked over to Finish Line PT from Madison Square to get my free goodies and food. I arrived at noon and the party wasn’t starting until 1 pm. It didn’t make sense to make the hour long trip home only to come back again, so I stayed put until I got my food, Bandejita Paisa – platter of rice, black beans, red cabbage slaw with some sort of green sauce, plantains, and a slice of avocado. Tasty and filling. Thank you, Mi Casa, for your donation in feeding hungry runners!
When I left, the first runners for the entire perimeter were starting to come in. I really admire their perseverance.
No Man(hattan) is an Island was not quite what I was expecting. There weren’t as many runners as I had expected, so it wasn’t easy to find people to run with after you lose a group. This was the inaugural event, so I hope that this event grows and becomes even more successful. The timing of the after party (1-4 pm) isn’t ideal for runners who don’t plan on running the full perimeter and don’t live in Manhattan. If I lived in Manhattan and I wasn’t running the whole perimeter, it’s fine because I would just go home, shower, and then go head out to the party. But on weekends, it takes about an hour to get to my home from Midtown. It’s a long commute and not worth going back and forth. If I planned on doing a much shorter run, I’m not sure if I would have stuck around for the party because even with doing a 15-miler, I still had to wait over an hour until the after party began.
I like the idea of No Man(hattan) is an Island because it’s raising money for a worthwhile cause and the idea of running the perimeter of Manhattan is super cool. For a first year event, I was impressed with the event’s execution and its sponsors. Strava provided one month free Premium membership to all participants. I wish the organizer all the best in growing No Man(hattan) is an Island in support of The Herren Project.