On a chilly April morning, a week before traveling to Florida for back to back races, I ran my first New York Road Runners race of the year. For a four mile race, we ran Central Park and I started the road to the 2017 NYC Marathon.
This was the first race where the New York Road Runners introduced staggered corral starts instead of one long stream. While I appreciated the additional room when starting the race, and the lack of crowding in the first mile, my 8:30am race started at 8:38:45. For a corral E start, having almost 9 minutes some people probably didn’t start till around 9am. While the staggered start was a good idea, it was obviously not organized enough to get all the corrals out at regular intervals.
We started on the east side of the park and headed north as our corrals were released with the sound of the horn. We quickly passed the 72nd street transverse and headed up cat hill. The famous statue was upon our left side before we had gotten very far and passed the 85th street transverse for the first mile marker. Without stopping we continued up the east side until we got to the 102nd street transverse and turned left. The second mile marker was in the middle of the transverse as we headed west until we turned left and headed south. Straight down the west side to 72nd street and turning left onto the transverse to complete our four mile course around Central Park for my first New York race of the year.
After spending the better part of 2015 healing from injuries, it felt good to get out there and run the four miles in 34:46. The 8:42 min/mile isn’t quite where I was a year ago, but it felt good to get back out there and get myself reasonably close to where I was before I was injured. With one race down, 8 to go for my 9+1 for the 2017 NYC marathon and the 2016 NYC marathon to look forward to, the NYRR Run for the Parks 4M was definitely a good start for me.