Name of the race: Cherry Tree 10-Miler Relay
Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
Date: February 18, 2018
Time: 10:00 am
Distance: 10 miles total (3.45 miles for the first leg, 3.35 miles for the second leg, and 3.2 miles for the third leg)
Terrain: The loop of Prospect Park
Entry fee: $60 for the relay team (15% discount for PPTC members)
Post-race Food: Bagels, cream cheese, peanut butter, jelly, apples, and hot chocolate
Swag: Gloves & finishers medal
Time: 25:40 for my leg (1:16:43 for the total distance)
Performance: Overall: 9/41 for mixed
Weather: 37 degrees, 56% humidity, 10 mph wind
The motto for the Cherry Tree 10-Miler is Race for the Hardcore because as a winter race in February, you never know what the weather would be like. Two years ago, it was THE COLDEST WEEKEND of the year and frankly, I never experienced another day as cold as that day. Although Ben and I had registered for the event, we wisely decided to skip it by sleeping in our warm and cozy bed. Last year, the weather was positively balmy for February. I hadn’t intended to do this race at all, but Jay asked if I wanted to be a part of his relay team along with Liza. Ben had already registered, so I figured why not.
We had to decide what our team name would be. We tossed around a bunch of ideas on FB chat and then we wandered over to the topic to costumes. I volunteered to make tutus for everyone. Both Jay and Liza poopoo’ed the idea and I called them, “Partypoopers.” Thus 2 Partypoopers and a Tutu was born.
I made a special pink and cream tutu for the relay and proudly wore my tutu. I also discovered a pair of leggings that I love isn’t the best leggings for long-distance running. I had to hitch them up a couple of times while I was running. The tutu was a big hit as I got several shout-outs.
We lucked out on the weather as there was a brief snowstorm in the middle of the night. The park crew plowed and salted the course, so the road was clear, but there was a pretty little snow scene in the park. The temperature was quite mild for February. Had I been running the full 10 miles, I would have worn less clothing.
Ben started his first loop with me. Ben has slowly begun “training” again. And by training, I mean that he runs 3-4 miles hard on the treadmill a few times a week instead of not running at all. He hasn’t run 10 miles in a single go for several months, so the race was going to be interesting for him. As for me, my weekly mileage was reduced this week because of the insane workload that I had. I simply had no time to go running at all Monday-Thursday, which meant that all of my miles had to be crammed Friday-Sunday. After a workout on Friday and a long run on Sunday (and work), I was frankly quite tired on Sunday. I just wanted to have a decent fast run for my leg of the relay. The first mile was hard because we went up Zoo Hill in Prospect Park (8:00). The second mile, I enjoyed the rolling hills and slight decline (7:30). The third mile has the big decline in the beginning, but then it flattens out (7:30). I was starting to get warm in the third mile, but I knew I didn’t have much more to go.
The last bit (around .45 miles) was the hardest. You got out at a 5K pace, but the distance is longer than a 5K, plus the finishing area is at an incline. I was completely gassed. I gasped, “Liza! Liza!” as I frantically waved the slap bracelet for her to take. Ben threw his jacket at me because I was done running and he had two more loops to go. I got some water, caught my breath, and then set out for a leisurely cool down loop. I came back in time to see Jay cross the finish line and see an epic duel between two PPTC members who battled it out on the straightaway. It was amazingly fun to watch two guys who refused to let the other one win. We’re not sure who crossed the finish line first. Somehow I missed seeing Ben despite being planted right before the finish line.
My relay team did great. We came in 9th out of 41 coed teams. Ben was happy with his race as well. Ben and I went home to shower and change before we went to the afterparty at Berg’n. We had a lot of fun drinking and eating waffle fries and dirty frites (shoestring fries with brisket chili, hot sauce, and topped with chopped red onions and scallions) and talking to our friends. I found out that a couple of our teammates were getting together to make Sunday sauce for dinner that night, so in typical Elle fashion, I invited myself, Ben, and Bandit over. I am completely shameless.
After eating at Berg’n, we went home to nap before going to the dinner party. We had such a marvelous time! The food was delicious; the conversation was uproariously funny; and we bonded our mutual love of board games.
Sunday was exactly the sort of day I love – racing, good food, and friends with Ben and Bandit.