Masters Running


Belle Isle New Year's Eve RR (Read 373 times)

Back on Stride

    Starting at 4PM on New Year’s Eve, this was obviously my last run and RR of the year, so here’s the wrap-up: Event: The 38th annual New Year’s Eve Family Fun Run on Belle Isle, a city park on an island in the Detroit River (sort of our equivalent of Central Park). In addition to the kids’ and walkers’ events, the major run is a 4-miler on roads around the island. This year there was a record field of 1500 runners. FR: Not applicable for a winter event. Layers, with Brooks outerwear and Adrenaline ASR shoes. The weather was nice for this time of year, with temperatures in the low 30s and mostly dry pavement. With a winter storm on its way for later that night (we had 10 inches of snow New Year’s morning!), it was a good chance for a fast run on a flat course. The starting venue was the old casino, designed by Albert Kahn and built during Detroit’s glory days of the 1920s. I had never been inside the place before, and it was really a beautiful building. Plus, thanks to Roger Penske (long story), there was plenty of paved parking space for the big turnout. Belle Isle Casino: I drove down with a couple of friends, but didn’t run with them during the race. I really wanted to run a fast time for this distance, so took right off at a sub-8 pace. The first leg of the course was particularly scenic, as we went around the fountain and toward the western tip of the island. At that point we were facing directly downriver, so we could see the Detroit skyline on the right, Windsor (Ontario) on the left, and the Ambassador Bridge barely visible through the haze in the distance. Rounding the tip and heading upriver along the shoreline, I passed the first mile at 8:15 and was feeling strong. That stretch also brought back memories of running the Detroit Marathon several years ago: this was right about where the halfway timing mats were placed, and the start of about 6 or more lonely miles that we spent on the island. The route then turned into the center of the island, past several more architectural landmarks: the conservatory, the maritime museum, the bell tower. The next two miles went by at sub-8:10s as we looped back toward the casino. I didn’t catch my time at the 5K mark, but I’m sure it was below my official PR. Finally, there was one final lap at the end of the island, then a turn onto the start-finish straight and across the line. My time was 32:37, for an 8:09 record pace for this (or any) distance. Being a “fun run”, there were no individual times or age-group awards, but I did finish pretty well up in the field (and ahead of Frank, which of course was important Big grin). Later, though, we decided that $28 was a pretty steep entry fee for a 4-mile run, some refreshments, and a long-sleeve t-shirt that I’ll probably never wear. We did manage to get a post-race snapshot, and the PR finale for 2007 made it worthwhile (that’s me on the right).

    Doug, Runnin' in Rochester, MI

      roch, Good job beating Frank. I guess the corollary of "Dance with the girl you brought" is "Beat the guy you drove down with." Nice-looking casino. I always like seeing photos in posts. Dark Horse
      I'm a dark horse, running on a dark race course.

      Marathon Maniac #957

        Roch - Nice picture, excellent PR, and great way to end 2007! Sounds like a lovely, scenic race, other than the fact that it's in the wintertime. Smile

        Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."

          Doug, you sure finished the year off in style with your fastest ever pace in a race. You have sure been increasing your speed the last couple of years. Congrats on a great race and in getting home before the storm hit. TomS
            Nice race, Rochrunner! What a great way to end the year, with a PR!! Thanks for sharing. Keep up the great running in 2008! John
              Congratulations on your awesome record pace! Love the pics. What a gorgeous looking building. Happy new running year!
                Rochrunner! Nice race and what a super way to finish up the year. I enjoyed reading the report and seeing the pictures too. Thanks for taking the time to share this. My mother-in-law is from Bloomfield Hills and while she "went east" for college, all her cousins and uncles and so forth went to the University of Michigan. Most of them still live in Michigan (all over the state now). All of that to say, I have heard her talk about Belle Isle----great shot of it on race day! Good running and this bodes well I am sure for 2008 CNYrunne
                  Roch....nice run and great RR. Sounds like a good time. Send the shirt my way....since you won't be wearing it Big grin
                  Quit being so damn serious! When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. "Ya just gotta let it go." OM
                    What a great run you had ! When you informed me of this, I was seriously considering but stuff came up. Undecided Wish I could have been there. Congrats. ^5
                      Not a bad way to end the year. Enjoy your victory (finishing ahead of Frank, that is).

                      "Champions are everywhereall you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard


                        Well done, Doug, you've had a great year. Think how much faster you get when you can stop working in a few months! But I disagree that 8:09 pace is your record pace for any distance. I'm sure you were faster than that in the 4x400 relay.
                          Always glad to see CassadAAmius post. Dark Horse
                          I'm a dark horse, running on a dark race course.
                            Sweet RR!!!!!!!! There is no better way for a runner to end the year. Well done.



                              Ringing out the old year with a sweet PR race. Nicely done! Great photos too. Smile


                              Running is stupid