For the third consecutive year, a 5k race wound its way around Metlife Stadium in New Jersey for runners and New York Giants fans to converge on the field to complete a 3.1 mile trek. A feeling like your favorite football player as he runs those 100 yards to completion at the end zone is what draws them each year.
The Achilles organization makes it possible for injured and handicapped runners to race every year. They can be seen along the New York Marathon, as well as other races, and make it possible for those who normally cannot race to have a guide run with them to help them along the course. Each year, the New York Road Runners have a five mile race dedicated to this organization and the impaired runners it assists.
As marathon training began earlier this year, it became time to start running races again to prepare for the big races. The Queens 10k is one of the five borough races to qualify for the NYC Half marathon the following March. As such, I decided to wake up early Sunday morning to head out to run.
It had been about a month since the NYC Half Marathon ran through the streets of Manhattan, and I hadn’t run much since then due to inclemental weather and a busy schedule. I was able to get in my long runs on the weekends leading up to the Brooklyn Half Marathon, but felt I was woefully unprepared as that fateful Sunday loomed.
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.