Wednesday, June 4, 2008

5 miles in 55+ minutes plus 3 mile walk

Participated in the NYRR 50th Anniversary 5M run today morning in Central Park. Being a week-day morning, the race started at 5:30 AM!!

Stayed over last night at Marc W's place in Midtown Manhattan to make it to the early start. Despite getting up at 4:30 AM, got delayed while walking 20+ blocks to the start point and was 6 minutes late to begin the race. By the time I reached the starting point, the entire 2000+ people had already started off, and the front runners were probably past the first mile market!

Enjoyed the early morning run in beautiful Central Park - wet weather adding to the enjoyment. As per the training plan, I was supposed to run only 4 miles today; so took it very slow in this 5 mile race. Finished the race in around 55 minutes, as per my Garmin Forerunner GPS. However, the official NYRR results of the race show it as 1:04:27, which is very surprising. Most likely I was being penalized for starting late.

The other major surprising thing about the results is that they were available online by the time I walked back to Marc W's place and checked on my MacBook. I think it is almost real-time updates from the starting / ending mats to the NYRR Web-site; It would be awesome to have such technology available in RunWalkIndia events.

My ex-colleague Gerd Zeibig completed in 31:27!!! Wonder if I will ever be able to achieve that pace - 6.17 minutes per mile!

The race organization itself is a big surprise! 2000 people showed up, braving a steady drizzle, and the very early morning start in NYC. It will be fantastic to recreate this kind of event in parts of India where day time is too unsuitable for running races, and only this kind of early start will be practical!

On the way back, walked down Seventh Avenue past Times Square and Penn Station, and took a few photos to depict the early morning life in NYC. Photos are available on my Flickr account.

A memorable quote from one of the volunteers at the race:
Its just 6:30 AM and you have already run 5 Miles!! What better way to start the day!!

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