Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Wall Street AHA 5K Recap
Short race yesterday. It was the Wall Street American Heart Association 5K down in the Financial District. After picking up the race number and running some errands, I got to the vicinity at 6pm. (It was an evening race.) Found a public restroom and changed into my running gear, then headed over to the Battery Park City Marina to drop off my bags. (I had to buy some last minute supplies, so that was a bit of a pain to lug.)
At 6:30pm I headed over to the start, which was several blocks away on Murray Street. The walkers started on a perpendicular block. At 6:45pm someone blasts the horn and then we were off. Of course, being all the way at the 11+ area it took several minutes to reach the start, and for some reason they decided to let loose the walkers right before we finished crossing, which caused a slight traffic jam that I had to weave away from.
From the very beginning I told myself to follow someone with the same pace. I found that someone, a blonde lady wearing a black running skirt and fanny pack, and just kept behind her, and not let up until the end. She was pushing at a comfortable pace, and I managed to keep up all the while dodging the various bodies both on the street and crossing.
For those who have never done this race, it's a short one, but it's a bit tough being that it runs through the narrow hilly streets of Lower Manhattan with lots of twists and turns. Because it's on the streets and not completely blocked off, I had to avoid people and bikes, and stopped short while people crossed right in front of me. That was a bit annoying but that's the race.
After the first mile we had to run into a very strong headwind since it was right by the water. The blonde lady slowed down to take some water at the halfway point, and I followed suit. She walked for for about 5 seconds to take in the water and I did the same. Then she took off, and I did the same, not letting her out of my sight.
By the time we got to Battery Park, she was out in front by a dozen or so people, but I kept at it and just chanted in my head and turned up the speed dial (as much as I could anyway). Finally we made a couple more turns and headed right onto the promenade at Battery Park City, and knowing the finish line was right at the end of the walkway, I just pushed and fly pass the running skirt lady, who by this time had considerably slowed. I saw the giant time and sailed through the finish strong, proud that I didn't slow down at any point.
Official Time: 34:19
About 1:08 off my 2004 PB, but 7 seconds faster than my last 5k in Feb!