The MORE half marathon was taken over by NYRR this year. My only experience with NYRR is the NYC Marathon, and I was not at all disappointed with the organization of this event. There were lots and lots of portapotties (I used them 60 and 30 minutes before the race, with no issues) and good signage. The baggage area was less secure than I'd prefer - just piles by bib number and a guy in a red wig checking to see that your bib and tag matched - but it was fine and surprisingly low chaos.
The corrals were arranged by bib color, which was based on the best half pace you submitted with your entry. Now, my best half was 3 yrs ago, and about 10 minutes faster than I hoped to run this race, so this was sort of a fail. I lined up two corrals back from there with the 2 hr pace group. No issues at all, and it wasn't crowded in the least.
The Race Itself
The race started more or less on time. I didn't even look to be honest, so it must have been close. I opted to skip the Garmin and ran with my watch. For the first 4 miles, I hung with the 2 hr pacers (you can see where this is going). Its been soooo long since I did a 2 hr half (3 yrs) and lets all be advised that doing 3 ten milers in training where you stop in the middle for 1-3 hrs to do other things (like work, dinner, conference calls) are not the same as a single ten miler run straight through. And, well, I'm 15ish lbs heavier than my last sub-2hr half in 2008. And running 20 miles/week on a good week.
So off we went. The course is two loops (note to self: don't choose loop races) in Central Park. Its an attractive course, but I was pretty disappointed with the crowd support. It only really existed on the south end of the park near where the start and finishing areas were... I was unimpressed with the famed Big Hill. It was long, but fairly low in terms of grade (not that it was easy, but it was less imposing than the one at mile 9 or so of the Philly Half). Of course, we did run it twice, and it was after this hill I ditched the pace group (well, technically they ditched me; its not like I outran them). I could have hung for another 2 or 3 miles, but no way I was going to make it for 8 more. Also, the 2 hr pacers were doing the race as part of their 20 mile training run, which irrationally annoyed me. I KNOW pacers aren't pacing a pace that is their race pace and aren't racing the race but it still bugged me. And the "lead" one kind of reminded me of Charlotte from Sex in the City and that also bugged me. Oh well.
|its nice...but boring...maybe I'd be more amused if Central Park was new to me?|
The rest of the race was OK. I walked the water stops - every mile and a half or so which was awesome - and two other times I think. I will admit I got kind of upset at the finish line. I had 90 minutes to prepare myself for not hitting two hours; I knew it wasn't happenning, but I was still kind of bummed when I crossed the finish line. And, oh my god, my left arch hurt so bad from 5-8 and 12-13 or so. I should see a podiatrist, really. The medals are ok but unimpressive (decent though) and I appreciated the finish line apple. I would have liked a bottle of water (if they existed, I missed them), and Thomas's Bagel Thins in NYC? I know they're a sponsor, but come on. Boo. Baggage pick up was easy.
|looking awesome post race....|
Due to some minor scheduling issues, I had to take the train home (my parents had dropped me off). I walked to Columbus Circle to get the subway to Penn Station (and a brownie at Au Bon Pain en route). Of course, my Metrocard was empty, so I was a bit of a spectacle refilling it as my mylar superhero cape billowed in the stairway draft. OK, I might have been a spectacle/hot mess on the train too. It was too hot to put my sweatshirt back on but too cold without it! Anddd during my connection I changed from a super hero cape into a sweatshirt/mylar skirt outfit. It was awesome I tell you, awesome.
Anyway, overall, it was an OK race, just disappointed with myself. 2:08:09; 9:47 pace; 2533 of 7494 and 640 of 1408 in the 25-29 age group.