Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Race Report: NYRR Celebrate Israel 4 Mile

This past Sunday was the inaugural NYRR Celebrate Israel Run presented by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York. The run was part of the Celebrate Israel festivities, including the Celebrate Israel Parade (fka Salute to Israel Parade) taking place in NYC throughout the day. When I saw this race pop up on NYRR's calendar, I knew I had to sign up. The original plan for the race was to run it easy since it would be my first run after the Vermont City Marathon. Since VCM did not go as planned, my legs were fresh I could run this hard if I felt like it and the weather cooperated.

The weather was nice. I don't remember the exact temperature but I do remember the humidity being low. After the Israeli and National anthems, it was time to race. The first mile was the typical clusterf*!k. Lots and bobbing and weaving, and lots of frustration on my part at people who did not line up honestly. There was no corral enforcement what so ever. Several times I almost ran people over as I was motoring up Cat Hill early in the race. The remainder of the race was uneventful and until I came through the finish line chute. NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg was out there congratulating the runners and she stepped in front of of me as I was trying to slow down after finishing. Thankfully, I was able to slow down in time and avoid a collision.

My official time was 28:20 (7:05 average pace) which I would later find out was a 28 second PR.  I hung around the post-race festivities longer than I usually would. There was raffle where the grand prize was 2 tickets to Israel. I also got to meet some of the folks from JRunners. They are doing good work encouraging Observant men and women to take up running. I met Robin who just returned from her first trip to Israel. I also bumped into Joe who needed to run 5 miles to finish up his long run. His motivation was low and was considering bailing on the additional miles. Since I had to be in the City for the Parade, I offered to run with him. I ran at his pace and I didn't push him. I walked when he needed to walk and we got the miles done. He thanked me for the company and I enjoyed catching up with him.

After changing clothes, I made met my parents on 5th Avenue to watch the Parade. Mrs. and Lil Ansky were marching with a group representing Lil's school and my brother, sister-in-law, and niece marched with a group from the 92nd St. Y. When everyone was done marching we enjoyed a post-parade picnic in Central Park. Talk about a great day!

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