Category Archives: race photos

Colon Cancer Challenge 15K Race Recap & Fit Four Gloves Winner

This morning I woke up and headed to Central Park for my very first race this year: The NYRR Colon Cancer Challenge 15K. I have a much lighter race schedule this year than last in order to try to stay healthy for the NYC Marathon this fall. I was excited for this one for several reasons 1) it was my first 2013 race 2) I ran with my sister and 3) this was the first time I ran a 15K distance (9.3 miles). Plus, the weather was beautiful and sunny.

Central Park on race morning

Central Park on race morning

There were three events happening this morning: 1.7 mile walk, 4 mile run and 9.3 mile run plus a festival to increase awareness of colorecta cancer. They even had a giant inflatable colon at the festival that you could walk though. I really liked that this race was in support of this organization and helps to increase awareness.

Colon Cancer shirt and bib

Colon Cancer race shirt and bib

The race:

The race itself was held in Central Park and was almost two full loops of the lower loop (excluded the Harlem hills.. to my relief!). I typically am not the biggest ran of races where you repeat loops but today it didn’t bother me for some reason, although I would have preferred a route where this didn’t happen. I have also never ran a 15K distance before so this was different for me, I’m not used to stopping my runs mid-mile!

At the race start there was a bit of a bottleneck before it opened up, which is always annoying for a runner. We were basically fast walking at the start but once everyone spread out there was plenty of room on the rest of the course so it wasn’t a huge deal. There seemed to also be a good deal of people cheering on the sides which I always appreciate a bunch.

Approaching the finishline in pink and blue :)

Approaching the finishline in pink and blue :) As you can tell, I’m obsessed with my blue capris, I promise I wash them in between each wear!

The hills of Central Park came out to play for sure. I haven’t run there in a while so I didn’t even think of it, but the rolling hills of the West side are, in my opinion, are always the toughest. My legs are certainly going to be sort tomorrow, the quads got a workout!

Luckily, I felt pretty good for most of the race and my breathing did settle in. My sister ran at a nice pace which pushed me to pick up mine to more than I have been running, plus I wanted someone to chat with during the race so we stayed together for most of it. I didn’t have any foot pain (yay) but my knee was a little tweaky (is that even a word?). Still, its not awful and the French toast bagels at the finishline made everything all better :)

I ended up finishing 9.3 miles in 1:25 (9:11/mile) which I’m happy with since I did it without too many body parts hurting me.

Recovering after the finish.

Recovering after the finish.

Pros:

  • Beautiful weather: sunshine, nice temperature
  • The distance. I never ran a 15K before but its a nice distance below a half marathon. Since I’ll be running the Nike Half in a two weeks, this was a nice training run
  • Besides the bottleneck at the start, the runners spread out quickly for the rest of the race.
  • French toast bagels at the race finish

Cons:

  • The double loop course wasn’t my favorite but it wasn’t horrible either.
  • Short bottleneck at the start of the race.

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Lastly, the winner of the Fit Four Gloves giveaway is….

Jill Snethen

Congratulations Jill! Contact me at runlikeagrlmegan [at] gmail [dot] com within 48 hours so I can get these gloves to you!

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Also, I *may* be switching my blog over to self-hosted this week so if you get error messages or things look funny, that’s why. I’ll tweet updates if that happens!

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Did you run this weekend? How did you do?
What is your next upcoming race?

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Filed under Central Park, giveaway, race photos, race recap, race review, races

Last Race of 2012: NYC Runs Ekiden Relay

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******

The weekend before I went to Vermont, I ran my very last race of the year: the NYCRuns Ekiden Relay. What the heck does “Ekiden” mean, you ask? Well, the Ekiden originated in Japan a long long time before I was born (I don’t do dates). “The original concept of the race hearkens back to Japan’s old communication and transportation system in which stations were posted at intervals along the road. In the race, each runner on a team runs the distance from one “station” to the next, and then hands off a cloth sash, or tasuki, to the next runner.”

Now, during our race there were 4 people and we just ran in Central Park, not to replace a transportation system. But, we did pass off a sash to each other! I ran this race with my RTB Relay van-mate’s Alex and BLC, and Kasandra. Our team looked good if I don’t say so myself…

Freezing our butts off.

Freezing our butts off, but having fun!

The race was held in Central Park on a super cold and rainy morning. Luckily it was more of a misty rain while we ran so we missed out on any heavy downpour. And we all brought coats and warm clothes to wear in between legs. Of course, I overpacked as usual but I have to say I was very warm! The race was divided into four legs: 3.4 miles, 5 miles, 6.1 miles, and 1.7 miles. A lot of the runners that showed up were pretty intense looking and ended up being incredibly fast. Our goal was just to have fun but we enjoyed watching all the super speedy runners.

Start/Finish line

Start/Finish line

BLC was first and, despite not having run since the RTB Relay in October, went out and rocked his leg! Next was Kasandra with her 5 mile run. While she was out, Alex BLC and I had some time to chat about this relay and re-live some memories from the RTB Relay. As Kasandra was out and I started to get ready, I realized that my feet were absolutely freezing in my shoes and felt like lead. It was one of those situations where you can barely feel your toes. At this point, I couldn’t wait for Kasandra to come just to run to get my body warm!

Hanging out with Alex before my run!

Hanging out with Alex before my run!

One big mistake I made during this race was forgetting my inhaler. Runs are SO much more difficulty when I forget to take it beforehand, and this was no exception. Despite this, I was so happy when Kasandra came into the finish area and handed off the green sash to me.. I was up for my 6.1 mile leg and for some warmth!

It was a tough run because my breathing was more labored than usual but luckily I run the full CP loop often and am familiar with the elevation grades. As I made my way around, there weren’t too many other runners since it was a smaller race and since runners were spread out across different legs. But since its CP there were still tons of non-racing runners out there to keep me motivated. I did my usual “pick a person to beat” game during my leg which always helps me keep pace, plus its fun to run past people (no matter how much you try to deny it, everyone loves this feeling!).

Here I come to the finish!

Here I come to the finish!

Eventually I came around to the finish line and saw Alex in the distance ready to start her leg!

Happy to see Alex in the distance!

Happy to see Alex in the distance!

The official finish time for my leg was: 53:27 (8:55/mile). After I finished Alex took off for her speedy 1.7 mile leg. Our team’s final finish time was: 2:37.05 (9:42/mile). Overall, we had a great time running, catching up and hanging out, and laughing about Alex’s in-between legs outfit. I enjoyed the way the legs were divided and thought in general everything went very smoothly with the organization.

Although we had a great time, I do have some critiques. Unfortunately, there was also no aid stations along the course so I had to carry my water bottle, which is never my favorite thing to do by any means. Maybe next year they will have some water set up (please, please, please!). Also, although its the tradition, I really didn’t like the sash because it kept falling off and eventually I had to squeeze it into my iFitness belt. Too much fussing.

This was my second relay and, while much different from the RTB Relay, it was lots of fun. I’m definitely a relay type of girl :)

*****

What was the last race/event you participated in this year?
Have you ever run a relay?

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Filed under Central Park, race photos, race recap, race review, races

Join the Voices 5m Race Recap

This past Sunday I ran the NYRR Join the Voices 5m race to benefit research for brain cancer. Its nice to run for a good cause and to support all those out there battling this disease. This race was also my very last race in my 9+1 to get guaranteed entry into the 2013 NYC Marathon. I’m DONE! Now, I’m still not sure whether or not I’ll be able to run it since there has been no official word from NYRR on what’s going to happen because of this year’s cancellation. But, its still nice to have accomplished this and hopefully I’ll be able to run next year!

On race morning the weather was pretty foggy, but the temperature was perfect for a race. I LOVE running in cool weather so I was really, really happy. My sister who ran with me, however, was not as thrilled. She lived in Dubai for two years so she definitely prefers warmer temperatures!

Me above and my sister below!

Me above and my sister below!

We arrived to the start a little late so we had to run to drop off our stuff. Unfortunately the bag drop was super far from the race start so it took us some time to get there and back, which cut into my precious pre-run stretching time! And also didn’t allow me any time to go find my friends. I was not happy about that. Nevertheless, we eventually lined up at the start and got into our corral to wait for the start.

Since it was a charity race it was really nice to hear the stories of cancer survivors and see other people running in honor of friends and family who they lost. Unfortunately cancer takes so many loved ones but honoring them in your own way is something I respect so much.

Eventually the race began! The first half a mile or so was a bit of a mess I thought. There was a pretty big bottleneck for some reason and I couldn’t get my pace going right out of the gate. I contemplated running on the curb but then didn’t want to trip and fall like I most likely would have. I’m super agile (ha!). There was a lot of bobbing and weaving at this point to get around people and to avoid stepping on horse poop on the road. Why they don’t have pooper scoopers for horses I’ll never understand!

Post-race smiles

Post-race smiles

After the initial bottleneck the rest of the 5 miles went by fast. My sister’s iPod decided it didn’t want to work that morning though so she had no music. I took out my earbuds and we chatted most of the way. I know how hard it is to run without music when you are so used to it!

This was my sister’s first time running in Central Park, so I was sure to warn her of how hilly it was. But its sort of something you have to experience on your own sometimes, and to this day I continue to struggle sometimes with the rolling hills. But she rocked it out with me and we kept a sub-9 pace the entire race. Our official finish time was:

43:46 (8:46/mile)

After the race we ate our bagels. First of all, they had CHOCOLATE CHIP bagels.. OMG this was a huge step up from the tiny bag of pretzels they gave out a few races back. Its like they know how much I love chocolate and carbs and just combined them for me. Loved it!

Also, Tony Danza was there on the microphone for the post-race festivities, which was pretty cool! He even waved to me.

Tony Danza was there!

Tony Danza was there! And he waved at me!

The race ended near the fountain so of course my sister and I went down for a photoshoot. I must have looked ridiculous to the general public wearing my bright neon pink running shoes, but I never really care. Neon rocks!

By the fountain.. so pretty!

By the fountain.. so pretty!

My sister and I ended up going out after for a really nice brunch, changing out of our sweaty gross clothes, and doing some Christmas shopping around the city. We ended up having an awesome day, especially down at the Union Square market they have set-up with all sorts of vendors for Christmas gifts and goodies. They’ve got some great gifts down there! Including this delicious guy…

Yummy gingerbread man.

Yummy gingerbread man.

 Overall this race was good except for that bottleneck at the front. I am really happy with my pace and so proud of my sister for such a great run!

Did you run any races this weekend? How did you do?
Do you like gingerbread?

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