After running three marathons last year, I decided I was going to take it easy for the first half of this year. No major races while I let my body recuperate from all those small injuries that accumulate from pushing so hard. When the NYC Half Marathon lottery opened, I thought I would get an entry and see what would happen. When I was granted an entry, I decided to just run it rather than race it.
As a heatwave overtook New York for over a week, the temperatures made running a problem and required much preparation and hydration to take to the roads. The last day of the heatwave fell on the Saturday the race was scheduled and it was downgraded from a 10k race to a four mile fun run in New York City’s Central Park.
On a cloudy, humid, 80 degree morning, we gathered in Central Park for a five mile loop to honor Achilles and the handicapped runners they support to run races like the NYC Marathon. Although the sun wasn’t out, it was quite hot as we ran the Achilles Hope & Possibility 5M.
For the second year in a row, runners raced around the Meadowlands complex in honor of the Giants in The New York Giants Run of Champions 5K. Unlike last year, which revolved around the Giants winning the Super Bowl, this was a race that merely honored the team and allowed runners the feeling of running down the field towards the goal line to finish the race and know the feeling of running in a touchdown.
Every year, the New York Road Runners have very few evening runs. Most of the races are on Saturday and Sunday mornings, predominantly in Central Park. One of the rare, annual exceptions is the American Heart Association Wall Street Run, which runs the streets of the lower tip of the island of Manhattan.
It was still dark as I woke to make my way to Brooklyn for the morning’s race. The early start time and the distance between my home meant having to awaken far too early to drive down there, park by Coney Island and take a subway up to where the race began. For the third year in a row, I forced myself to undergo this ritual in order to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon.
Every year in New York City, the marathon is a major event that runs 26.2 miles through all five boroughs. The second biggest race for the New York Road Runners is the NYC Half Marathon, a 13.1 race around Manhattan that 14,500 runners had to run four out of five of the previous year’s five borough races or enter via lottery. In 2012, I ran four of the races (Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens) in order to run this year.
Every year, the New York Road Runners has their traditional football toss and four mile run through Central Park on Superbowl Sunday. For the first time, I chose to run the Gridiron Classic 4M on the morning of the big game to do my first NYRR race of the year.
With the year slowly drawing to a close, and realizing I had run eight qualifying races for the 2013 NYC Marathon (including the credit for the canceled marathon), I decided I wanted to run one more time to get the guaranteed entry for the 2013 marathon, even though entrants of the 2012 marathon were being guaranteed entry for the 2013 marathon.
Although the NYC Marathon was canceled this year, I wanted to continue to run. I trained for months for that race, but it’s not the only race and after a month I wanted to get back out on the courses, which I did for the Jingle Bell Jog.