Saturday, January 22, 2011

Manhattan Half Marathon Summary

It was my third year doing this race and it. was. freezing. Incidentally, though, it's only tied for the coldest of the three Manhattan halves that I've done so far. This year and in 2009 it was 14 degrees and last year it was gorgeous and 37. I guess it's a crapshoot. The ridiculous temperature was not helpful for what ended up being my pre-race number retrieval odyssey. I've done so many races at this point that I usually can't be bothered to make the trip all the way up to the Road Runners building at 89th and 5th. Instead, I usually pick up my number right before the race. Typically on the morning of, race numbers are distributed near the start line. If I had done even a little research, I would have realized this was not the case for this race. I read that I needed to pick up my number from the Road Runners building this morning (unusual) so assumed that the start would be somewhere nearby. Not the case.

I also ran from home to Road Runners because it's pretty inefficient to take the subway up there from where I am. It involves walking three crosstown blocks past 5th avenue, taking the 4, 5, or 6 up, walking back across the extraneous three crosstown blocks and then the same process on the way back. I thought I'd avoid the whole thing by simply running to Road Runners, collecting my number, and then casually going to the start line, which I assumed would be only blocks away. As it turns out the start was on the opposite end of the park and about thirty blocks down. Poor, poor planning on my part. By the time I reached the race start, I'd already run three miles!

The race itself was fine. It's two laps around Central Park. Not an easy run, but predictable if you've spent much time running in the park. It's generally a  little hilly but there are really only two challenging hills. One comes right after you pass the Boathouse and the other is Harlem Hill. I've always been of the opinion that Harlem Hill just sucks and that I'll never enjoy running it. Today, though, I think I might have. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I remembered it and even helped me warm up on the first lap. Plus we passed a bunch of people running it, which is always a good ego booster.

After that I had to run over to quidditch practice, which was not only cold but snow and ice ridden! And after all was said and done I had to take a warm-up nap. In fact, I should probably go to bed soon since the indoor tri is tomorrow. Night!


  1. Oh man a half around the park sounds AWESOME! I've walked that park many times but I've never run it. I'll have to keep that race in mind for next year. I LOVE running in the freezing cold!

  2. You should! There's another one in the park (in the other direction, though) in October called Grete's Gallop. Let me know if you ever want to come down for one.