Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sunset 5K in Kings Park 2012

My friend Erik invited me to run with him at the 2012 Nissequogue River State Park Foundation 5K Sunset Run in the Park. I immediately created Facebook event and I invited all of my friends. It’s so cool to see the usual band of friends, and those from High School. I really get excited when new runners join our group. This time new runners, John and his wife, Lisa were included in the fun. My kids decided to watch Captain America in the truck, oh well!

The William T Rodgers Middle School temporary race village was manned by many volunteers in yellow shirts, swarming with kids getting ready for the 1K fun run, and many runners talking to friends and warming up for their 3.2 mile race. Mike Taylor was signing some great classic rock songs, as the sun came out from behind the clouds raising the temperature that worried me. Its tough running in warm weather, but the clouds came back and cooled the start of the race.

Around 15 minutes to the start, we headed down to the start somewhere on Old Dock Road. The downhill slope looked inviting; however I anxiously anticipated the uphill workout somewhere waiting for all of us to climb. Erik and I talked about our injuries as we waited.

Around 5:30, there was a little jingle sound and everyone rushed forward to follow the police escort in front of us. As I let gravity help me down the hill, I caught up to Irene. I said, “You’re doing great!” and I passed her. For about 3 minutes, I was doing my best and Erik came running past me. It was great that he was running in front of me, because I was working harder to keep up with him.

That first mile, I clock a 7:39 pace, and we entered the park. I could feel my lungs breathing harder, and my quads began to strain! I am not sure where I lost Erik, because I put on the blinders and concentrated on each peak as they came into sight. It was a challenge not to pause and walk a little bit, but “Do your best!” was being repeated in the back of my head. I did not think too much about anything else.

The trail was lined by trees. However, the park is home of the abandoned Kings Park Psychiatric Center. It's kind of erie running past those huge empty buildings that were once filled with unusual and often misunderstood people. Erik and I were thinking they should have a Halloween Run or a Zombie Run to go with the scary buildings.

As I neared the finish, I could hear the race announcer rattling off names as they crossed the finish line. As I made the left into the parking lot of the school, I ran up next to this guy and he looked at me and started quickening his pace, as I started to out kick him. He could not catch up as I noticed the clock read 26:30, I have a good chance to make it under 27:00. I finished with a 26:52 and it felt really good to run an 8:39 pace!

I turned around to cheer on the other runners, and I cheered on all of my friends. Erik PR’d! And John and Lisa completed their first race. They were looking forward to their next race which is the JP Morgan Chase Challenge in Central Park! I gave Nancy a high five as I walked further down the course for Irene. As I saw Irene make the turn, I ran next to her, so we can include additional finish line photos in our album!

A few of us headed to Napper Tandy’s to celebrate and catch up!


No comments:

Post a Comment