Dash to the Finish Line 5k

It’s NYC Marathon weekend!   For those of us not quite ready to run a marathon (yet!), this Saturday 31st October was the NYRR Dash To The Finish Line 5k, running through the streets of NYC and finishing in Central Park at the actual finish line of the marathon.  It’s a way to get involved in the marathon and get a feel for how amazing it must be to cross that finish line for real!

I ALMOST missed this race.  I’d planned on picking up my bib on race day as it had been so easy to do so during last week’s Poland Spring 5M.  By sheer chance, I was checking the NYRR website on Friday evening for the start time, and noticed that there was no race-day pick up for this race.  I had to pick up at the NYC Marathon Expo, and had till 7pm before registration closed.

It was 6:30pm.  I was at home.  In New Jersey.

Daaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmiiitttttttttt!!!

This is impossible in New York traffic. I might as well have been living on the other side of the world...
This is impossible in New York traffic. I might as well have been living on the other side of the world…

Panic stations!  I had 30 minutes to get off my ass, get into the city and get to the expo to pick up my bib.  Oh, and it was rush hour and the bridges and tunnels were jam packed.  Luckily I live very near the ferry so I jumped on the next ferry which dropped me 1 block away from the expo (6:56pm).  I ran, and I mean ran to the entrance of the expo (7:02pm), through the exhibition centre and made it to registration (7:06pm).  Out of time but they were still giving out bibs, thank goodness!!

Making it across the city in time to pick this up was my biggest achievement this weekend
Making it across the city in time to pick this up was my biggest achievement this weekend
Checking out the NYC Marathon Expo
Checking out the NYC Marathon Expo

Cut to race day morning, and we’re heading in across the GW bridge, I’ve got 30 minutes till race start and I was ready to go.  The husband was driving me into the city, and I THOUGHT he knew where to go.  Turns out that no, he knew one road into NYC which took us to the opposite side of the city from race start.  Oops!  So I cut it very close as it took an extra 30 minutes to get there from the wrong side of Manhattan!

I made it just on time,  starting at the very, very back of the race line.  Got my GPS watch ready, but the watch wasn’t playing at all –  I had the dreaded ‘getting location’ lit up on my watch for a loooooong time.  I was past the mile 1 marker and the watch was still looking for me!  Needless to say, I gave up on finding GPS at that point and just ran without pacing.

This race was super fun.  It started on 47th street, between 1st and 2nd avenues, starting south and then turning onto 46th street, right up to 6th and up 6th into Central Park where the marathon line finish was.  The first two miles were so quick, I couldn’t believe it when I saw the 2 mile marker at the entrance to Central Park.  One of the benefits of starting at the back, was that even at my slower pace, I was overtaking people for the whole race.  A new experience for me!

Trying (failing) to take photos running up 6th avenue
Trying (failing) to take photos running up 6th avenue

Entering the park at the East side, we headed up and left to run down the bottom of the park and then finishing on the West side.  It was so exciting to see the ’26 miles’ overhead sign as we approached the finish line!  Even more exciting was crossing that finish line, and thinking of the thousands of marathon runners who will cross the same line.

Happy finisher
Happy finisher

I finished in 35:22, average 11:23 minute miles.  I was happy with that, especially as I only stopped once for water and I couldn’t pace myself!! I did get my watch running at the end to add another cheeky post-race mile on, and kept roughly the same pace.

This race was my 8th NYRR race this year, and I’ve already done 1 volunteering stint.  This means that I’m only 1 race away from the NYRR ‘9+1’ automatic qualification for the 2016 marathon!  Next year I’ll be crossing that line again, but having done 26 miles instead of 3.  It’s going to be hard work, and a lot of training and discipline, but I CANNOT WAIT!  Hey, if you only do one marathon in your life, might as well do the New York one!

Obligatory 'i just ran a race' photo. One day I'll make a collage of them all
Obligatory ‘i just ran a race’ photo. One day I’ll make a collage of them all

Next race is a 15k in December, so I’ve got a lot of training to do!  I haven’t done any races longer than a 10k this year, so I’m looking forward to pushing myself to meet the challenge.

Until next time guys!

Pam x

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