I’m doing posts a bit out of order since there’s a half marathon prior to this track meet that I need to write up, but my brain is fried and this one takes less work.
In general, all the NYC running clubs are pretty friendly to each other. There’s a bit of tribalism, as the BK running clubs are closer to each other than they are to the Manhattan clubs, but we all cheer for NYC when racing outside of New York City. Within New York, it’s more like the BK clubs will root for each other harder than the non-BK clubs. And even with the BK running clubs, we’re closer to certain clubs than others. We have a very good and friendly relationship with South Brooklyn Running Club. Another club we’re close to is the Brooklyn Tri Club. Tri as in Triathlon. Since they are a triathlon club, they also get their members to swim and bike and not just run. There’s a fair number of crossover members between PPTC and BTC, as PPTC does have members who are serious about being mediocre in three sports (I’m joking! In case you didn’t know, that is the standard joke about triathletes – mediocre in three sports, master of none).
Last year, some of our PPTC members were sitting next to BTC members in a bus (probably for the NYC Marathon) and during that long ride to Staten Island, they hatched an idea for a track meet between our two clubs. After many months of work, it finally came to fruition on Sept 22nd.
I never competed in a track meet before. I didn’t run in high school and the only team event I was a part of was the Speech and Debate Team. And that’s a very different type of team event. Our meets looked completely different. We did a lot of standing. No running.
There were several different events; I signed up for the mile, 400 m, 100 m, and 4×400 mixed relay because those events sounded like the most fun. I really didn’t have much expectation beyond hoping to redeem myself for the mile.
It was a beautiful day. The weather was comfortable and sunny. Because I was running only short distances, I found I didn’t care about temperatures the way I do for long distance races. Several teammates came out of cheer. They ran a tough trail race in the morning and I really appreciate that they came out in the afternoon to provide support.
The members of the two clubs would compete for their respective clubs. The top three finishers in each event would score points for their club and team with most points will win a trophy with an eagle on it and bragging rights for the whole year. I joked that Ed should just run all the events for PPTC by himself because then we would be assured a victory.
Because I started out too fast at the 5th Ave Mile, my strategy this time was to start out slower and then speed up. Cutting to the chase, I messed up here too. I started too conservatively so when I turned up the gear for the 4th lap, I was way too far behind and I would not PR. My mile time is 6:32, which is one second faster than the 6:33 I got at 5th Ave Mile, except we ran 1600 meters and not 1609 meters. Lesson = pacing a mile is hard.
On the bright side, I won a free massage for being the masters women winner. We got sponsorship from Saucony and Priority Fitness so the open runner winners got a free pair of shoes from Saucony, whereas the master winners got a free massage or training from Priority Fitness. I really wanted to win a pair of shoes, but when I saw who signed up, I realized I had no chance in hell. So I whined to the organizer who’s a good friend of mine that we needed prizes for master runners. She agreed to see what she could do. She did great and now, I have a prize to enjoy!
I had like a 15 min break between running a mile and running 400 meters. Strategy = Run balls out. Feel = thought I was going to die because running 400 meters hard when you haven’t fully recovered from a mile. Time = 1:27. I’m quite pleased because 1:30 is a very respectable 400 meter time for me. I don’t have fast twitch fibers, so anything under 1:30 takes Herculean effort from me.
HANDS DOWN THE BEST AND MOST FUN EVENT TO RUN EVAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
If I could choose which type of runner to be, I would want to do this. Literally, you go balls out as fast as you can, no worrying about pacing whatsoever, and by the time it starts to hurt, it’s ALL OVER!!!!!!! This is an event for maniacs. Run like a banshee and then you’re done.
I finished dead last at 19.60 seconds. I don’t care. I had sooooooooo much fun.
4×400 mixed relay
Two women and two men in a relay event. Another really run event. It was my last event, so I was super pumped to do well. I was the third leg. Mark is a fairly fast runner, so he was our lead. Then Vee in second and me in third. I was nervous about running because I wanted to do well for my team. When it was my turn to go, once again, I ran balls out. I didn’t care how much it hurt. I had to go, go, go!!! As I was rounding the track, I realized that I could catch the BTC runner ahead of me. That gave me the motivation to push myself even more. I caught up to her right at the point where we switched off to the anchor. I was so stoked that I caught up to another team and set my team up in a good position. Noah, who was the anchor, is one of the fastest guys in PPTC. He chased down a few more runners and we edged out a BTC team for third place by one second. I was very proud that we earned a point for PPTC. This 400 m was my fastest of the day, as I ran this in 1:25.
We finished our track meet with shared snacks and with drinks at a convivial bar in Red Hook. BTC slayed us and won handily. We good-naturedly excused ourselves by saying that many of our best runners couldn’t run because they’re in the middle of marathon training and don’t want to mess up their training, whereas the BTC members are done with their main events and thus, they are just off the peak of their fitness. No matter what, we all agreed that the PPTCxBTC track meet was a great success and that we’re going to make this an annual event.
It was terrific fun running in the different events and cheering for people. Everyone was really supportive. It was all a bit of a love fest because we cheered for everyone regardless of which team they ran for. We were there because we all love running and we love the people we run with. And this is what running in a club is all about.