5th Ave Mile Race Report

race_3945_photo_63318784Name of the race: 5th Ave Mile

Where: from 81st St to 60th St. on 5th Ave

Date: Sept 9, 2018

Time: Open Categories:
AA Women 15-24 7:30 a.m.
A Men 15-24 7:40 a.m.
B Women 25-29 7:50 a.m.
C Men 25-29 8:05 a.m.
D Women 30-34* 8:15 a.m.
E Men 30-34* 8:30 a.m.
F Women 35-39 8:45 a.m.
G Men 35-39 9:00 a.m.
H Women 40-49* 9:10 a.m.
I Men 40-49 9:20 a.m.
J Men* and Women 50-59 9:35 a.m.
George Sheehan Memorial Mile
K Men and Women 60-69 9:50 a.m.
L Men and Women 70+ 10:10 a.m.

Specialty Heats
M Media Heat 10:35 a.m.
Flag NYPD / FDNY Heat 10:55 a.m.

Professional Athletes/Championship Heats:
Professional Women 12:10 p.m.
Road Mile Women 12:25 p.m.
Road Mile Men 12:35 p.m.
Professional Men 12:45 p.m.

Distance: 1 mile

Terrain: Slight net downhill

Entry fee: $40

Swag: Baseball cap & free race photos

Post-race Food: Bagel, apple, and water

Time: 6:33

Performance: Overall: 2811/7711; Gender: 570/3602; Age (40-49): 30/376

Weather: 55 degrees, 88% humidity

It kinda kills me to write race recaps for mile races because I spend more time writing than I did running.

Despite the lack of love I have for NYRR in general (look, they are good at what they do, but I prefer smaller, quirkier races over the behemoth races that NYRR tends to be), there are certain races that they put on that I adore. The 5th Ave Mile is one of them. This race is actually my favorite race that NYRR puts on (sorry, Brooklyn Half, you’ve been replaced). I didn’t do this race last year and I hadn’t done any mile races this year, so I thought doing 5th Ave Mile would be a good idea.

Because this is one of the largest races that NYRR puts on, there are several waves. The men and women run separately and there are several waves of age groups, with the young ‘uns running earlier. Being a masters runner has its advantages as it meant I didn’t have to get up ridiculously early for my wave. I like showing up earlier than my wave anyway because I love standing and cheering my lungs out until it’s time for me to go. The 5th Ave Mile is a fun and exciting race to watch because you see wave after wave of runners going all out.

I watched a couple of waves with my PPTC teammates, who were parked between 63rd and 64th St on the west side of 5th Ave. I left them so I could go do a warm up and pick up my bib before my start. I waited in my corral and seeded myself up close to the start line. A few days later, I read Ari’s race report and discovered we were in the same corral. So close and yet so far.

A goal: 6:20
B goal: 6:25
C goal: just PR (my flat one mile PR is 6:31)

The 5th Ave Mile is a wonderful race to try to get a PR. It’s a net downhill, with only a slight hill in the 2nd quarter to worry about. NYRR provides timing clocks at .25 mile, .5 mile, .75 mile and at 1500 meters, so you can see how you’re doing.

To sum up my race, I went out way too hard and fast in the first half, which meant I blew up in the second half. The first half I ran in 3:00 flat. The last quarter mile was ugly. It didn’t help that NYRR had a clock at 1500 meters and I mistakenly thought it was the finish line at first.

I was happy to hear my teammates and Ben cheering for me as I ran by. I deliberately placed myself on the right-hand side, so they could see me as I ran because I knew I would really want/need the cheers. The race was painful and ugly. Another bright spot was that Karla was working as one of the announcers. She spotted me and announced my name as I crossed the finish line. I won’t lie. I felt like a rock star. It pays to know influential people.

My time was 6:33 (2 seconds off my flat mile PR). I’m not happy about this race because I know I have a better mile time in me, but running a mile race when you don’t really run or train for it is difficult. It’s super easy to go out too fast and since I don’t run this pace much, I have no idea how it’s supposed to feel.

My coach said it wasn’t all bad as I ran the fastest 800 m of my life and that sometimes I need to blow up at races in order to learn and do better next time. The other miracle is that there’s a photo of me where both my feet are in the air.

Ben and I decided to go home to watch the professionals run on TV because it was starting to rain. The women’s professional race was really exciting as Colleen Quigley tried to catch and outkick Jenny Simpson. She couldn’t quite do it, but I loved watching her run with so much heart.

15 thoughts on “5th Ave Mile Race Report

  1. So funny, I think I had the opposite problem: if I’m unsure about how a race should be paced (like this one), I think I start out too conservatively. Looking back, I could have gone faster in the first half but I was holding back – and I was also expecting to run a 7:15 or 7:20 and wound up much faster (although not as fast as you) so we almost had opposite experiences. And I can’t tell you how much I miss doing small Long Island races. I’ve been doing so many NYRR ones just to get my 9+1 but I want to branch out next year a bit and travel to some outside the city.

    • I overly enthusiastically overestimate what I can do sometimes.

      I thought I would do more LI races when I moved to BK because I have acar, but it didn’t work out that way. I miss the small town races in NJ.

    • It’s really fun and you get a chance to see them up close because most of them are good about coming over to the sidelines to say hi to you. I got Leo Manzano’s autograph several years ago that way.

  2. I had to laugh at the ” I spend more time writing than I did running,” and I enjoyed the recap. I participated in the virtual run jointly hosted with Strava, so I bascially missed out on the whole experience except the results page, but it’s really cool! And an 800 PR is nothing to frown about!

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