Monday, May 26, 2008

Wall Street Run 2008

Last Tuesday was the Wall Street Run. (The name has gotten ridiculously long to "The American Heart Association Start! Wall Street Run & Heart Walk", but I still call it the Wall Street Run.) I had been looking forward to it, primarily because I was supposed to see ShoreTurtle again. I was also hoping to have dinner with a few other runners and friends. First the Turtle couldn't make it. (He had a good excuse.) Then pretty much everyone else pulled out of dinner. And then finally, it started pouring.

I probably would have just skipped it if the Running Skirt hadn't been so set on going. But there we were setting out on a rainy commute from the Bronx down to Wall Street.

The race sucked for a whole bunch of reasons:

1) The distance was 3.0 miles. I didn't realize this when I signed up, but it's such a stupid distance. The Road Runners didn't provide an age graded percentage score, because this is a non-standard distance. When I last ran this race in 2006 it was advertised as a 5K, but then after they race they realized it was only 2.9 miles. So if they already changed the course to add 0.1 mile, what would have been the big deal to add another 0.1 mile?

2) Walkers and runners start together. They made some announcements about having walkers go to the left or something, but people never listen. There was no actual separate starting area. The starting area is pretty cramped already, but with all the walkers it took me 6:43 to get to the start line. And then I had to spend a lot of effort dodging around people with purses and other people talking on cell phones! The walkers should start 15 minutes after the runners. It's such a simple solution that it's hard to believe it hasn't been put into practice. (Although you can be sure I'll be emailing them.)

3) The course is horrible. Ok, this I won't blame fully on them. The race is held in the Wall Street area, and this is worsened with all the construction going on. But it doesn't take away from the fact the course is cramped, and there are a million sharp turns. But come to think of it, why do they finish the run on the waterfront? Looks nice, but there's even less room to run. So just at the end, instead of putting in that last spurt, I was stuck slowing down behind people. Oh, and 5 feet after the finish line you had to turn to the right. So everyone just stopped sharply at the finish line, and I had to dodge people just to actually cross the line!

It's amazing, the race registration was capped off and sold out at 17,000. With the rain, there were only 4,301 finishers as per the NYRR. I imagine all these problems would have been a lot worse with good weather.

Anyway, if you haven't already guessed, I didn't have a good race. I finished in 24:15 for an 8:05 pace. My slowest pace since June 2007 (excluding races 13.1 miles or greater). I knew some of the points above had interfered with my performance, but I still felt like I had a put in a lot of effort. I was breathing hard, and had a shin splint in one of my legs. I was dejected.

I took the train back up town and went for dinner with "M". I had a grilled tongue sandwich and felt better. (Of course, those sandwiches are part of the problem.) I was glad to shower and get out of those clothes. Race #8 done.


Blogger nyflygirl said...

The 4,301 finishers are only the ones who actually had chips...I'm sure there were a LOT more walkers that aren't accounted for there (since they didn't get chips)

Anyway, always fun to get out of Central Park every once in awhile :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008  

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