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2006 NYC Half Marathon
On Sunday, I finished the first ever NYC Half Marathon (sponsored by Nike) in what I would describe as the Tale of Two Races. As if waking up at 3:30am on a Sunday wasn't enough to make me question my sanity, I walked through the pouring rain to the 4:19am train and arrived in the City at around 5 so I could participate in the first ever NYC Half Marathon event.
After grabbing some fruit, I took a cab up to East 86th and Central Park where the race start line was located. I was one of the first 500 people there or so and now had to waste 2 hours before the start of the race. Lots of stretching, people watching and bathroom going filled the first hour before the timed pace corrals starting filling up. To make sure I didn't have to fight my way through 10,000 people, I got as close to the front of the "open" section. And then the waiting began ...
Highlights of this waiting period was watching the Central Park Conservatory workers using digital cameras to take pictures of people going to the bathroom in the woods by the starting line ... which included women just dropping down and not even looking for real cover (which reminds me of the whole Seinfeld "good naked" vs. "bad naked" debate - this was bad naked).
The race began and as expected I had to fight through a lot of slow runners (which was weird because I started right behind the "preferred" starting groups). Immediately, I was introduced to the rolling hills of Central Park which I definitely should have altered my training to accomodate. Even with the hills, I was able to pace my way at a decent clip finishing the first 5K and 10K at better than expected times. At around the 7.5 mile mark, we left the hilly park for a flat run through the City. I was still ok till about Mile 9 when during the middle of 42nd Street the heavens opened up and race #2 started. What was a hard, but still fast and fun run turned into a sloppy, slightly annoying race. My shoes were soaked, my laces come untied a few times and my pace slowed. The run down the West Side was gorgeous though, but the rain put a slight damper on the view.
I finished 1,214 out of 10,241 runners which is respectable considering this was my first timed run at this distance and I didn't train for any of the hills. You can see my full race results here -
Many thanks goes out to my brother Chris and my cousin John who both made the long trek into the City to watch me run and then meet up with me afterwards.
Next up - the Knickerbocker 60K (37+ miles), November 25th.