Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday Night at the Races

This has been one crazy week and I really feel like I've been slacking on the blog front, but sometimes I just have to go to sleep! I've been working on a really cool new business pitch at work that's been taking up a lot of time and effort, we've been running our usual weekend errands after work since we didn't do them while my parents were in town, and Wednesday my company called it a day early and went on a scavenger hunt around the city (let me just say, the thousands of miles I've logged in Central Park really came in handy yesterday) and then I volunteered in the evening.

Have you heard about NYC Runs? It's a resource, and social community, for NYC area runners started by Steve Lastoe that provides local news and articles on running, a listing of area races (some of which you can register for, without fee, on the site), and opportunities to find clubs and running partners. I don't have any stats on the site, but I can tell you that I've used it to look for races, read articles and am on the mailing list.

Earlier this year, NYC Runs started a race series in Riverside Park on the Upper West Side, as well as a few other parks throughout the city. When I heard about this I definitely wanted to run one since I knew the field would be a little less massive than the usual NYRR race and I also decided to volunteer and help out for a race. Last night was my night to volunteer.

The weather was warm, but there was a nice breeze coming off the river and the shade helped keep the park cool. A perfect evening for running. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I got to the meet spot and there were a few people getting things set up. As of now, this is a pretty low-key operation with only a few 'staff' members and around ten volunteers. The course winds through the park in a loop, with a few cross overs that make good signage and volunteers necessary. I met David, Steve and a few volunteers and eventually headed out to my spot at the south end of the loop. David gave us the low-down on the race and what we needed to do. Pretty simple work, of course, but essential work. Not long after 7:15pm (race start time) Steve came around on his bike and moments later he was followed by a thundering herd of speedy runners including members of a cross country team.

I had been told the races usually field about 75 runners, but while I don't know for sure, this one didn't seem to have quite as many. They rushed by quickly and then my job was done. Everyone seemed pretty happy to have a volunteer reassure them they were going the right way and there to cheer for them. I waited around for about 10 minutes then decided no one else was coming and went to meet up with another volunteer to head back to the start/finish. 

Most of the runners had finished by the time we got back and were lounging around, drinking water, stretching and enjoying icepops. The winners were being calculated (overall men's and women's winners and AG winners) and then were announced. Gotta love prizes from Party City! There was a family of four from Germany (I think) that swept the awards! They each won in the AG! What a great way to spend an evening while visiting the NYC.

While this is was a very small race, it was definitely a great opportunity for the runners to see what they can really do in a 5k. Everyone also seemed to be having fun, which was cool to see. I mean, how often can you race a 5k on a Wednesday night? If you can make your way up to Riverside Park, I definitely recommend you give it a try! There's a 10k (two loops of the course) in two weeks. Click HERE to register for only $10!!
Post Race
  • Have you ever run a race in the evening after work?
  • Do you prefer small or large races?
  • What's the best thing you've ever experienced at a race, that was organized by the race? (great bands on the course, cool race souvenirs, lots of water stations...)
Yesterday's workout -
3mile run
150 ab exercises
2x45sec planks
3x18 squats
3x15sec one leg bridge

Today's workout -
3mile run
125 ab exercises
2x45sec planks
2x30sec side planks
4x15sec one leg bridge
2x20 upright row


Penny said...

I have ran a couple of evening races. I'm not a fan of evening races. I like to get my workout over in the morning,that way I dont have to think about it all day. Plus I don't feel like I can eat very much till the race is over. I like to run on an empty stomach.

I love all the people cheering you on in a race.

Run with Jess said...

I did one evening race, can't say I'm a fan of them... but I just prefer early morning runs anyway.

Molly said...

I have to say, I've never run an evening race! Not even a corporate challenge! Looks fun!