Sunday, April 29, 2007

Huge Turnout


It was 56 degrees and cloudy with a sprinkle here n' there at the race.
Today was a who's who of local running clubs. Over 100 clubs, and 5,700+ runners were on
hand for today's 4 mile race for lung cancer. I was really impressed at the number of supporters out there, and the people who were running for a loved one that had battled with cancer.

The race lined up at the start on East Drive near 68th Street and did it's normal counter-clockwise loop around the meat of Central Park.
Doug Labrecque, son of the late Tom Labrecque, Sr., sounded the starting horn. It took me nearly 2 minutes to cross the starting line, and that was with me lined up between the 7 and 8 minute markers. There was a lot of jockeying for position in the first mile, with runners trying to set their pace and create open spaces. Surprisingly, I was able to do that mile in 7:30.

Of course, there are those hills between the 2nd and the 3rd mile in Central Park, which to me are routinely deadly. And as I was a little bit more than half way through it, the race was already won. The race came down to two men: Worku Beyi and Demesse Tefera of the Westchester Track Club (WTC). My girlfriend laughed because in the time that it took for her to walk from the start to the finish (like 1/4 mile away), she did not even get the chance to videotape the photo finish between them two. Beyi, 20, raised his arms in victory as he broke the tape and narrowly defeated teammate Tefera, 24, by less than one second. The clock read 18:43 as both runners crossed the finish line.

“He’s my best friend and a great teammate,” Beyi said of Tefera, and pocketed $400 for his victory. “We train together, we live together, and he really helped me run today.”

John Henwood, 34, of the New York Athletic Club (NYAC), regular to NYRR races, and who is tall and gifted, easily came in 3rd.who finished in 19:16. Also, an avid marathoner, Retta Feyissa of Westchester Track Club, who had won the 2004 Marine Corps Marathon in 2:25:35, and placed 34th at the ING New York City Marathon (2:27:29) that same year, came in 9th.

As for me, I did manage to beat my previous 4 mile PR, which I had achieved back at the Colon Cancer Fundraising Race back on March 11th this year. My 29:23 was almost 1 minute less than my previous of 30:21. My pace was 7:20, and although it's not the 6:40 from last week, I have to consider that there was a lot of hills, runner congestion, humidity, and longer race than last week too. In all, I came in 852nd. But that's out of 5707. So, top 15% ain't bad at all!


After my race, we hung out for the awards ceremony, which was pretty cool. I then changed in the Port-O-San (a runner's next best friend) and from there we took a drive down to the Tribeca Film Festival. Didn't get to see much (tickets a bit prices - $25 per) but we took pictures of the area and had lunch at my one of our favorite restaurants, Cabana Nuevo Latino, except this time at the one at the South Street Seaport, instead of Forest Hills. We had a pitcher of Sangria, and I had a Paella Valenciana, and I also shared my gal's "La Playa" salad too.

Provided that I keep a close vigilance to not hurt myself, races are fun to do. April & May are huge race months here in NYC. Next Sunday, I've got the Long Island Half Marathon, and then comes my suicide in the form of 3 more races on the 20th & 22nd & 27th. The run on the 22nd is the Wall Street Run, and while I want to do well in that race, I think I'm going to turn that into a "fun" run. After that things should wind down considerably, with only 1 race in June and 1 in July.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Congrats on the P.R. (again)! The next few months aren't "race months" here in Florida... It' HOT!