Sunday, February 28, 2016

Race Report: NYCRUNS Frozen Bonsai Half Marathon

Wow... This is my 60th blog post!  Can't believe I've written so much about my running escapades (and eve have the ability to remember some of them months later, haha!) since starting this blog in October 2014!  This one's a short one, because how much can you actually write about running in Central Park that's already been written about?  I mean, granted, running Central Park is an amazing experience, but for those of us who live here and are spoiled to have the park at our back doorstep to be able to run it multiple times, it's hard to make my narrative interesting - but I'll try... :)

My outfit, with Santa hat, ready to go!
Anyway, I could've finished out the year in San Antonio, especially after hitting such a huge PR at the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon, but I wanted to do one last half to finish the year out, and then give myself a good five week break before my next big race.  So, last minute, I signed up for the NYCRUNS Frozen Bonsai Half, which consisted of roughly three differently sized loops of Central Park.

The Frozen Bonsai Half is in its third year of existence, and in previous years, it has been true to its name as a December race in New York City - cold, cold, cold.  This race morning, however, was quite the opposite; my Garmin's satellite measured the mercury at a balmy 63°, with 63% humidity.  I got up early race morning to head over to the startline, where I met running BFF Donna and Elliot, who was in town to run the race from New Orleans.  While in the start corrals, I ran into some fellow Front Runners - ultra superstars Bernie and Cindy!

With fellow FRNY members Cindy and Bernie!
The race began on Central Park's East Drive at 100th Street, where runners run north toward the 102nd Street transverse and then run across it westward, turning left onto West Drive heading south.  We then ran the rolling hills of the park's west side, and around the bottom of the park and then headed north on East Drive.  We first did the lower loop, turning left onto the 72nd Street transverse and past Bethesda Fountain and The Lake, going around the bottom of the park once again.  We headed north again on East Drive, but this time passing the transverse and the Central Park Boathouse, then going up Central Park's second toughest hill, "Cat Hill" (named by joggers in the park for the statue of a large stalking cat on a rocky outcropping overlooking the Drive).  After Cat Hill is a nice mile long downhill and flat segment that passes by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) on the right and the Reservoir on the left.  We then passed the startline and ran through the northernmost section of the park, where there is an s-shaped downhill before proceeding up the park's toughest hill, known as Harlem Hill.  We then followed the road through the park's rolling hills of the west side for the second time, and then all the way around again to the bottom of the park completing one full loop.  After passing the start once again, we turned left onto the 102nd Street transverse, and finished roughly halfway down the transverse.

Adele's original look...
The race itself was fine; I mean - it's 63° in December, so amazing!  I donned an all-red outfit ('tis the season!) and wore a Santa Hat the entire race (that got real sweaty, but what do you expect...); water stations were located at four places within the park, and the park was pretty busy with lots of people out running and biking since the weather was so nice.  Several people were out cheering along the course, which was quite nice - including one with an awesome pop-culture related sign, which I, of course, always appreciate!

I ran a pretty conservative race, considering I had just ran a PR-setting full the week before, and ran across the finish line in 2:16:25.  I met up with Elliot, Donna, and Carmen shortly thereafter, and did brunch nearby at CafĂ© du Soleil with them (with a great deal of MIMOSAS.... yes.)  Later that night, I met Donna, Elliot, one of Donna's friends visiting from Australia, and Hema, for Indian food near Lincoln Center and was able to shoot my now-famous medals picture that closed out 2015.

In action, and nearing the finish (Photo by Miki Mariotti)

Victory Headstand in the park!

Yummy medal :)

All of my medals earned in 2015!

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