On the road to the 2017 NYC Marathon, I took to the roads of Central Park for the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k. After running three identical four mile races, I was looking forward to running a different course, even if it was longer and ran up Harlem Hill.
Unlike the previous races, we started on the west side of Central Park and headed north, running us in the opposite direction of the previous races. We started down at 62nd street and headed north to the rolling hills of the west side of the park. Up and down those hills led us past the 102nd street transverse and towards the daunting Harlem Hill. I was mentally distracted and didn’t even notice that I was running up the hill until I crested it and passed the halfway point of the race. A little further east and we turned down the east side of the park, when the 70 degree heat and limited shade started to get to me. I walked once or twice on the east side of the park on the way south, but running down Cat Hill was a nice change from running up it the previous three races. We reached the bottom of the park and looped around back up past the start line for a few more blocks to the finish line.
The unexpected heat was a detriment to my race, but I was still able to complete it in 1:05:18. I would have preferred to complete it in under 10 minute miles, but the 10:31 per mile isn’t too bad. And with my fourth race completed, I have the Brooklyn Half Marathon to look forward to this coming Saturday.