Name of the race: Little Cow Harbor 4 Mile Run for Hope & Soup
Where: Greenlawn, NY
Date: March 4, 2017
Time: 9:00 am
Distance: 4 Miles
Terrain: Rolling hills
Entry fee: $25
Swag: Long-sleeve tech shirt, headband, free finish line photo, and video of you crossing the finish line
Post-race Food: Minestrone soup, chicken soup with rice, bagels with cream cheese, roll, sugar cookies, tangerines, apples, bananas, and water
Performance: Overall 72/466; Gender 14/247; Age (35-39) 2/21
Weather: 23 degrees, 42% humidity, winds 13 mph
Moo! To be perfectly honest, I really wanted to do this race because I wanted to wear a costume. No, it’s not a costume race. I just made it one. At Penguin Pace, there were runners dressed up like penguins and the moment I saw them, I was immediately sorry that it hadn’t occurred to me to make a penguin costume. When I saw this race, I knew I couldn’t let this chance for redemption to go by, so I signed up and made myself a cow outfit.
We’re going through our closet and throwing out old clothes, so I repurposed an old hood to make the black patches. I used fabric glue to attach them to my shirt and Headsweats visor. For the cow ears, I found two old pads that were the perfect cow ear shapes. I glued them onto black fabric and then cut them out into cow ears. I globbed liberal amounts of glue to securely attach the ears to the visor. Finally I made a white and black tutu. My outfit was complete!
Because it was super cold yesterday morning, Ben opted to stay at home and I headed out to Long Island all by myself. The night before, the race hosts a free pre-race pasta dinner. If I lived out on Long Island I probably would have gone to see if the pasta dinner was any good, but I live too far out. I arrived at the race 20 mins before the start, which was just enough time to pick up my bib, swag, and visit the restroom. There was no bag check, but everyone was leaving their belongings on the bleachers in the gym.
Before the start of the race, a lady approached me and asked if cows were sacred to me. I looked at her in puzzlement and then slowly answered that I just really wanted to wear a cow costume because of the name of the race.
Even though there was a timing mat at the start line, I seeded myself pretty close to the mat. I didn’t want to get stuck behind a bunch of people who I judged to be “hobby joggers.” For all we say that running is about racing against yourself, I like to look at the other runners before the start of the race and judge whether I think they’ll be fast or not. This decision to seed myself where I did, turned out to be important later.
I took the first mile too fast (7:25). I wanted to run this in 7:45 and then slowly speed up if I felt good. I don’t think it would have mattered all that much if I had taken the first mile slower because I slowed down greatly for Mile 2, which shouldn’t have happened even at a 7:25 pace for Mile 1. My legs were tired, despite taking a full rest day on Friday. I gamely ran on.
There were people out cheering on the course. I got a number of people yelling compliments on my tutu, which kept my spirits up.
The course has rolling hills, but overall it’s a flat’ish course for this area of Long Island. Objectively it’s an easier course that the hills of Prospect Park and I ran a PR the week before. I wasn’t going to come anywhere close. I had hoped to run something closer to 31 minutes, but I didn’t have it in me. I pushed as much as I could for the last mile. I wasn’t sure how well I did relative to the field.
I slowly walked over to the food and grabbed chicken soup, roll, a half bagel with cream cheese, cookies, fruit, and water. I ate the food in the gym and waited for the results to be posted. When I saw some papers being taped to a wall on the far side, I figured they were the results so I made my way over. I spotted my name and saw that I was listed for 3rd place in my age group. The woman who got 1st AG ran the race in 27:XX, so there was no way I could have caught her. The woman who was listed for 2nd ran the race about 20 seconds faster than me. On a good day I could have been faster.
I waited for the award ceremony. There’s a huge running community out on Long Island and it seems pretty tight. The announcer was familiar with a number of the winners and nicely commented on their past running accomplishments as he called them up. When it was time for my age group, he called me as the 2nd place AG winner instead of as the 3rd place AG winner. I figured he mixed up our names because we were listed right after each other on the results sheet. I walked over to him to confirm that I was the 3rd place winner, but he assured me that no, I was the 2nd place winner. I figured there was some sort of error on the sheet that I had looked and the timing company fixed it for the results. I took my medal and smiled for the picture.
Later that afternoon I checked the results online. I found that I was the 2nd place AG winner if you went by gun time. If you went by chip time, the lady who was originally listed as the 2nd place winner was ahead of me. This is the first race with a timing mat at the start of the race that I’ve been at where the AG awards were based on gun time. Unwittingly by seeding myself closely to the mat, I gave myself an edge over the lady who ran a faster time because I crossed the finish line two seconds before she did.
I feel bad for winning 2nd place AG over her. It’s not the end of the world or anything, but I never had a race base AG awards on gun time. I feel like the award is unearned. Whatever race award I received, the cow costume was aces.