There wasn’t supposed to be a race on February 20th, 2010. It was supposed to be an ordinary day in Central Park, nothing special… until the devastating earthquake that destroyed Haiti last month.
NYRR came up with an idea to raise money for Haiti by way of a 4 mile race in central park where regular race entry would be $40.00 instead of the usual $15-20. They also noted that this race would count as a double qualifier for the 2011 NYC Marathon. Needless to say, everyone came out for this one.
My Friday night was actually quite fun.
Before I went out I made (from scratch) some Shrimp Fra Dialvo. Those of you who keep up with my posts know that this is a staple for me before a race introduced by my friend Ahern last summer. It turned out awesome. I wolfed it down and hit the subways.
My piano teacher (and good friend) Sugar has been producing this show called the Nouveau Classical Project (nouveauclassical.org). The concept is… classical music is dead. Young people are uninspired to listen to or understand what it is. Sugar’s idea is to merge cutting edge fashion designers and fine artists with a series of classical pieces and have a show. I have been to almost all of them (one of my paintings was even in the first!) and have never been disappointed.
This NCP took place in Tribeca and featured 5 performances of which my friends Amanda, Walter, Kiersten, Nolan, and of course Sugar played in. It was sold out. It rocked. Everyone was amazing and I will never be unimpressed by any of their performances.
After the reception I joined a group of the musicians at an italian restaurant for a few beers and pasta… carbo loading. I left at 12 and crashed (bedtime) shortly after.
I awoke at 630AM and began fueling with Cafe Bustelo. Based on my 2 pasta dinners I had the night before I wasn’t hungry. Grabbed two bananas anyway, and headed out.
Rolled into Central Park at 830 and headed to the bandshell to meet the ‘dad posse’ minus Mike, plus Annelise and Lisa. I had wolfed down the bananas by the time I arrived. One of my coworkers often calls me a monkey for my affinity toward this divine fruit. I don’t mind.
We headed out to the corrals realizing there actually were no corrals that it was indeed as I dubbed it a ‘Sh&t Show.’ We made our way to the back of the line which turned out to be the 11 minute milers. I stood there with the gang thinking… ‘well, you just gotta pick your battles and i guess today isn’t that day. lets just have some fun.’
The gun went off and it seriously took 10 minutes before we had moved. I made friends with this really sweet girl named Stephanie next to us and we started the run together. She told me she didn’t make NYC Marathon 2010 because she did all of her 9 races and forgot to volunteer so they denied her entry! Anyone able to pull any strings? After running with her for a little while we lost each other at which point I decided to start barreling down the right side.
I crossed Mile 1 at 23:15 or something which was a total PR.
It was actually a lot of fun running with the group. Once you accept the fact that it isnt going to be a banner day in the personal record books it turns into a pure love of the sport.
At Mile 2.5 we were rounding CP and starting to head south. It was then that I decided I needed (just for me) to turn up the heat. I started sprinting up the hills (like we did a few Tuesdays ago with SS in the Hill Diggers night!) and what do you know, it worked!
I was really cookin now and really having a great time. As we turned toward the finish I picked up the pace and was doing well until out of nowhere super-tall-lanky-guy cuts right in front of me without looking! I slammed on the brakes (all Top Gun style) and may have actually burned rubber as he sped by. Not cool buddy. You just messed with the wrong guy. Hahaha, I’m kidding, or am I?
So of course my mission now was to beat him, duh.
I bolted left and started (carefully) bobbing and weaving gaining speed. Right before the finish I cut right and jumped in front of him boxing him out and beating him. C’mon, it’s the little things in life that matter people! Anyway, I guess I’m competitive after all and maybe a touch obsessive.
Never have I been to a race in Central Park so ridiculously crowded (9421 runners). It didn’t matter though, as it was for Haiti. I think the race raised over $400K which for one morning in CP is amazing.
I waited for ‘Dad Posse’ + wives and anyone else I might find (Erika, TK) finishing the run. Based on my starting right before the walkers corral I figured Erika and TK were done already.
As I sat watching the runners, who comes by but my new friend Stephanie! We high fived and said a few words as she took off for water. Seconds later Ed came in followed by Lisa and Annelise. Jim had already finished and was waiting for us by baggage.
What a beautiful day. Sometimes you have to put aside your competitive drive and just be a part of the collective, working together for one concept. I like that. Runners get it. (I’m a triathlete too so I gotta give shouts to them to as they are a part of this as well)
It takes heart to get up early and do a 4 mile race, and I’m not even talking to you my runner compadres as we do this crap every morning. I’m talking about the rookies out there today, props to you folks for coming out and killing it. I hope you all get the running bug and come join us in the Park every weekend, it will change your life.