Race Report and pic in Times Square (Read 796 times)


    Yesterday I raced the Brooklyn Valentine's Day 5K in hilly Prospect Park.


    It was a nice sunny morning, though cold (around 35 at the start) but not as cold as it has been lately, so it felt pretty good.


    As people got ready to race, I walked up to the line to get a good spot and to gauge the competition.  Out of the blue a guy next to me asked if I was planning to run 6s and then explained I had beaten him in a 5K in the same park several months back, he was second in that race (I posted a race report, it was my first 5k win).  We chatted a bit more and he told me he forgot his Garmin so he wanted to pace off of me.  He said he knew if he could keep me in sight, that would mean he'd get an award.  If my face wasn't red from the cold already, it now was.  I've never been "that guy" before! He also remarked that there were a few strong looking runners but that he thought we had a good chance despite the larger turnout this year (a few hundred) and that most people looked like casual runners.  This is what I was hoping for :-)


    We both said good luck and lined up.  The gun went off (or rather, the guy with the PA horn yelled GO).


    The start is down a gradual downhill that stretches maybe half a mile.  You can really spin your legs down it.   Several people bolted past me but I knew I'd see some of them at the bottom of the hill.  My watch said we were going 4:45 for the first quarter mile.  I slowed back as a guy in baggy shorts passed me, and I settled into 7th or 8th pace.  The guy I was chatting with on the line was right behind me.


    After the hill ended, 2 or 3 of the people in front of me dropped away, which I knew would happen and I settled into a more comfortable pace.  When I crossed the 1st mile marker (which was actually .9 miles) my watch said 5:15 or so.  I think it was really 5:30 when I hit the "garmin" mile.  Love that downhill start.


    I was now in 4th and steadily gaining on the guy in front of me who originally had the lead for the first half a mile or so before a smaller guy in a red shirt passed him at a very steady pace/quick, and then a guy in a grey tech shirt passed him too. 


    I blew past 4th place just before the hill that comes around mile 1.5 or so.  He had really slowed.  The two leaders were what looked like a quarter mile ahead of me already though.  I felt great and powered up the hill knowing I could hold form, as I train on it weekly and know when to push it and how long the pain will last. 


    Grey shirt guy now passed red shirt guy for first and was flying.  It was clear what the finish order would be:  Grey, Red, me (if all went well!).  I was happy with that.  It's early in the season and last year I got an AG place trophy and finished somewhere in the top 10 overall in this race, so this was a solid improvement, and I was on pace for a PR.


    At the top of the hill, and getting close to 2.2 miles or so (mile marker 2 was spot on, btw), I noticed I was substantially closer to red guy.  I remember thinking that if this was a 4 miler, I'd have ample time to catch him, but the road was running out quickly.  I also felt I was in solid third (didn't hear any footsteps close to me) and catching 2nd place would hurt way too much anyway, so I just kept it steady and tried to get a bit closer to be safe.


    With about a quarter mile to go, following the course we veered off the main road at a slight split that leads to the end.  Red guy was now within a stone's throw and I could see him fading.  I still felt good so I decided I'd kick it and see what happened.


    To my surprise, I found myself hurdling toward him making up a lot of ground, very quickly.  I was speeding up and he was not!  He HAD to hear me coming, neither of us had headphones and I was pounding away hard.  I expected a glance over the shoulder, a panicked look, and he'd speed up.


    But I got right up to his shoulder and decided it was time to just hammer it and hope I didn't fall on my face.  I blew past him, with maybe 10 feet to go.  I beat him by probably 1 or 2 seconds tops.  It was my closest finish!


    I looked at my watch, 18:21.  A PR by a few seconds!  I circled back and congratulated red guy and thanked him for pushing the pace.  He congratulated me and looked pretty happy with himself.


    I decided to warm down and jogged a mile out and back, and then over to the finish board.  Grey guy won (later he'd tell me his time was 17:30-ish), he killed us!  The board said he was 26 I think.  Then I was listed, 34.  Then the guy I passed.... he was 14!


    Suddenly I felt a little crappy.  I sped past this KID right at the end.  OOPS!   I know, all is fair in a race and had I known how old he was, it's not like it would be better to just hand him a win, and I didn't push him out of the way or anything, but I still felt a little guilty about it.  I guess on the bright side for him, he has a loong time of running ahead of him (ha, no pun intended) and will no doubt improve and learn to kick at the end as I get older and eventually slower.


    Anyway, it was a great race, a PR and a really nice start to my season plus a good indicator of my fitness as I get closer to Boston-time.


    Here's a pic of my award after the race.   And below that, a pic of me and Clifford opening the NASDAQ exchange in Times Square ´╗┐this morning (totally random, I know!).




    HTFU?  Why not!

    USATF Coach

    Empire Tri Club Coach

      Had a similar 5K experience once, but the kid was 11 and it was he who sped past me about 10 feet before the finish line.

      Options,Account, Forums

        Congrats on the PR and the great race.


        If the kid is going to run in school, as we hope, he sure needs to be used to the phenomenon of runners kicking as hard as they can at the end, cause that is what he'll see, no doubt. I strongly suspect school cross-country and track competitors will be throwing more energy into trying to pass at the end, than us adult hobbyjoggers are capable of.

        It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


          Fuck that kid. You beat him. It's a life lesson or some shit like that. Well done on the PB and the massive electronic image.

            Yeah, my first sub 19 PR was paced by a 14 year old girl who I outkicked at the end - no mercy. She went on to have a very good running career.


            Well done on your race.

            Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
            We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

              that is a cool story, a cool photo and a cool trophy, congratulations!

              You'll ruin your knees!

                The faster you run, the more kids' dreams you will destroy...


                Nice run, love the Times Sq pic...

                ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)



                  nice race.. can never be sorry for a pr. thats great!

                  And we run because we like it
                  Through the broad bright land

                    That was  nice report Dave.....good job on the race, and if you're anything like me, you've been beaten in enough races that you dont need to feel guilty because you beat someone..........OWN IT.....

                    Champions are made when no one is watching

                      What a great write up.  I was on the edge of my seat reading.  Congrats and that pic with Clifford is pretty  damn cool too.

                      Biking Bad

                      finnegan begin again

                        Fuck that kid. You beat him. It's a life lesson or some shit like that. Well done on the PB and the massive electronic image.


                        Great write up and race. Way to go. He won't be waiting on you when he's 34 and you're 54.

                        "... the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value..."  Thomas Paine Dec 23, 1776 The Crisis 


                        Adversity is the first path to truth. Lord Byron


                        "No one plans to fail…..they fail to plan" Skinny Pete

                          Great job! And very nice report.


                          Btw, you don't look 34.