Brandon and I planned to meet in Central Park and run the race together at a 7:30 pace. We've met once before in person but we were both looking forward to running together. Before the race, I did a short video interview with Brandon. We then made our way over to the start and lined up between the 7:00/mile and 8:00/mile signs. The disabled athletes had their own start at 8:20. At 8:30, the horn went off for the able-bodied runners.
The first mile took us around the south end of Central Park. Brandon set a fast pace,finishing the first mile in 7:01.
Mile 2: This is the part of Central Park I dread the most. The Boathouse marks the beginning of Cat Hill. Brandon didn't know why it was called Cat Hill so I pointed out the Cat staring down on us as we're running up. Just past the crest of the hill was the mile 2 marker. We finished in 7:15.
Mile 3: features the rolling hills of Upper East Side from the Guggenheim Museum to the 102nd St. Transverse. No mjaor problems here, we finished in 7:09.
Mile 4: I'm not sure what happened here. Brandon mentioned that the humidity was getting to him. We must have slowed our pace. Because we crossed mile 4 is 7:30.
Mile 5: Mainly downhill but we didn't push the pace too hard. The finish was just north of where we started on 69th St. We finished mile 5 in 7:22.
Before I get to the official stats, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the disabled athletes. These men and women are such an inspiration. We take it for granted that we are able-bodied and can pound the pavement day in and day out. Seeing athletes in wheelchairs, who are blind, amputees out on the road with me was such an inspiration. Good for them for not letting their disablities get in the way of their passion. Any time we'd see a disabled athlete on the course we would shout words of encouragement.
Now on to the official stats:
Official time: 36:55
Pace per mile: 7:23
Overall place: 216
Gender place: 178
This race marks the end of racing season for me until September at the earliest. I will increase the distance my weekend long runs but not the intensity. I will also continue to go to Nike Speed most Wednesday evenings. But won't drive myself crazy if I miss a session.
After the race, I gave Brandon a lift home. We chatted a bit about his training for Ironman Wisconsin, Kona, Lance Armstrong, and the Tour de France. Nice running with you buddy!