Name of the race: Al Gordon 4 Miler
Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
Date: Feb 23, 2019
Time: 8:00 am
Distance: 4 miles
Terrain: Rolling hills of Prospect Park
Entry fee: $25
Swag: A fanny pack (I wish I were kidding)
Post-race Food: Bagel, apple, and water
Performance: Overall: 791/5166; Gender: 128/2519; Age (40-44): 13/310
Weather: 36 degrees, 60% humidity
I’m trying to catch up on race reports. I have a bit of down time this week, so I’m going to try to get through them all. **fingers crossed**
The Cherry Tree 10M Relay was a week out from Phoenix, so I didn’t have much expectation as for that race because I was still recovering. I gave Phoenix all that I had and I know this because my legs were trashed in a way I hadn’t experienced since my first half marathon (Brooklyn Half in 2012). I took a full week off running and the Cherry Tree 10M Relay was the second run since Phoenix.
Al Gordon 4M was two weeks out from Phoenix, so I had higher expectations from this race. I generally find that two weeks after a marathon I’m mostly recovered, such that I can race a short distance race without any specific training for it because I still have so much residual fitness from marathon training.
I really like Al Gordon 4M because it takes place in my figurative backyard – Prospect Park. It’s close to home. It’s convenient. It’s cheap. I know the route.
We started on Center Drive, which is roughly the middle of the park. You head east on Center Drive and connect with the main loop of the park, heading up Zoo Hill. Although this is the steepest climb for the race, the first mile always passes by super quick and easy for me because I’m so excited and amped about racing. After Zoo Hill, there’s a mile of rolling hills (with a slight net decline) and then there’s a mile with the steepest decline. I love this section of the park. The final mile starts off flat, but it finishes with a slight incline. I’m exhausted, but quite pleased with how well I’m running. While the overall pace is considerably off my 5K pace, my legs feel much better than they did a week prior.
In the last mile, I catch a sight of Jay and Abu, another teammate of ours. Abu wasn’t racing, but finishing up his long run in the park. I decided to use them as a target to motivate to keep racing. I slowly reel them in and I reach them by the last half mile of the race. I run with Jay and Abu for a quarter mile. When we turn back onto Center Drive, I catch a sight of the finish line. I was uttterly drained, but I realized that I still had one last push in me. I sprinted down determined to be under 30 minutes.
I ran 29:45, which is exactly a 30-sec PR. Hurrah!
I do think the PR is a bit soft considering what I’m capable of running, but this was a really good effort, so I am happy with the result.
After the race, I met up with a bunch of my teammates and we chatted about our races and plans for the weekend. While the weather was great for racing, it was too chilly to be standing around long, so I said my good-byes and trotted home. I loved that by 9:30 am, I was already home, showered, and drinking a hot beverage and eating a delicious homemade avocado toast to celebrate a great and fun race. See why I love Al Gordon 4M?