Before the race I met up with some friends from the Runners World forums: From L to R - Dahlia, Amy, Me, Rebeca, Jennifer
When we got to the corral, my beautiful wife Gail (aka my photographer and #1 cheerleader) had a surprise for me!
Then yet another surprise, when I met another friend from the Runners World forum, Beth!
Race started at 9AM, it wasnt too hot, around 70 degrees, but was VERY humid out. Since I had never run this course and it included the most difficult part of the park, Harlem Hill which ive never run before, my ONLY goal besides finishing was to finish in under 1:15:00 or sub 15:00 miles.
Mile #1 - This first mile included the Harlem hill, so my strategy was to run a 45/30 run walk interval till I get to the hill and then switch to a 30/45 interval and told myself not to push it TOO hard up the hill in order to make sure I didnt kill myself before the rest of the 4 miles. Harlem hill wasnt as bad as I expected it, it was long and just kept going, and then when i thought i had reached the top, it still went on, but after reaching the top, the downhill to the west side of the park was nice. My strategy worked and Mile #1 was my fastest mile in the race @ 13:37!
Mile #2 & #3 - These 2 miles were along the West Side of the park which is basically a series of rolling hills, Ive ran these before and knew what to expect. I did make water stops twice since I was feeling a little dehydrated. Mile #2 - 14:29 Mile #3 - 14:25
Mile #4 - Cat Hill which is another big hill, but one that Ive run before, so again I knew what to expect. I also stopped again for water after the hill. Mile #4 - my slowest at 15:11
Mile #5 - After Cat Hill, I was pretty much done with the hills, and there was some downhill as well. I knew I had the energy to speed up after my last mile a bit and by the time I got to the last half mile, i ditched the intervals and ran the rest of the way. Final Mile - 14:58
Finish Time - 1:14:28 - Goal Accomplished!!!!!
Some interesting Pics my wife took:
Me and Amy post race, Congrats to my friend Amy for finishing 9+1 which guarantees her entry into next years ING NYC Marathon!