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NYRR Grand Prix Queens Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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New York, New York
United States
New York Road Runners
78F / 26C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 1188/3054
Age Group = F 30-34
Age Group Rank = 63/291
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:30, had some coffee, a bit of muffin, got dressed and was out the door by 5. I took a taxi to Times Square to take the 7 train. There was a long wait and an even longer train ride, but there were tons of runners on the train. There was a free bus to the start of the race from the subway stop, last bus at 6:15. A couple hundred people were waiting for the last bus, which took over 30 minutes to arrive. We finally got on and they dropped us off at 7, which was the race start time. Only they didn't take us to the start. They dropped us over 2 miles away!
Event warmup:

The unexpected 2 mile power walk through the ugliest neighborhood I've ever seen. About a mile into the walk, the first part of the race went by, which means they had been running for over 10 minutes. We had over a mile to go just to get there. The closer we got - and I'm talking hundreds of people, not just a few who were late - they started threatening to remove the chip mats as if we all decided to sleep in and blow off the race start. I'd been out the door for over 2 hours and still wasn't there. I didn't care if they shut off the mat because I was doing the race as a training run and am not trying to qualify for the marathon next year, but it was really upsetting to those were were and who had also been making their way to the start for over 2 hours. The logistical mess put me in a terrible mood and I finally lost my temper when I crossed the start line, which I hate doing. I know it's not the fault of the people there, but they were beyond rude when it was NYRR's F-up that put us in that position to begin with.
  • 1h 57m 39s
  • 13.11 miles
  • 08m 58s  min/mile

I started this race almost DFL, about 20-30 minutes after the start. I'm an average MOP runner, sometimes in the upper third of my AG, so I am used to running in very crowded conditions. Well, I can't complain about that here. For the first few miles I ran virtually alone except for occasionally passing someone who was generally walking or jogging very slowly. I did this race as a long training run because I thought it would be nice to have the crowd for pace motivation and the on-course support. But I should have saved the 20 bucks, slept in and just done this run in Central Park alone because I ran along until about Mile 8 or so. Live and learn.

This course was surprisingly hilly, some being long and gradual that really burned up the legs. It was also in the upper 70s and 87% humidity so the conditions were a good challenge for sure. I felt really good during the first 2/3 of the race, keeping a consistent 8:40-8:50 pace which is exactly what I was aiming for. But then around Mile 9 it kind of fell apart. I had a serious side stitch that would not go away. I also have some cartilage damage in my ribs from my bike crash so that pain hit at the same time and was all the way through my back. Within another mile, my shoulder and collarbone area started to ache. I slowed more than 20 seconds that mile and felt pretty miserable.

Right about then this guy I met on the walk to the start caught up and said hi. He was wearing an NYC Tri jersey so that's how we ended up talking. He was a lymphoma survivor running with a Team in Training group. He was very chipper for this late stage of the race and at first, I just wanted to be alone. He was telling me some story about a dog and a sweater that lasted about 1.5 miles. At times it was like hearing the Charlie Brown teacher, but then I realized my side cramp was easing up and he was running just a bit ahead of me, which forced me to keep up my pace a little. We finished the race together and I thanked him for pulling me through those last few miles. It's nice that I managed to link up with a triathlete since I like them so much more than runners now. :)
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Given the conditions (heat/humidity, hills, bad logistics) and my lack of training due to injury, I'm really pleased with how I did.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked a bit, had an apple, a Gatorade and a lot of water. Sat in the grass and stretched before the bus ride back to the subway. I had a cookies and cream protein bar on the subway that was seriously the tastiest thing I have ever had. I stretched again when I got home and am planning some icing later.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My broken shoulder and lack of recent run training. Heat/humidity to a limited degree, but again mostly because I'm undertrained.

Event comments:

NYRR needs to get the logistics straight for this event. You shouldn't have to pay $15 for a special bus when we live in NYC and have incredible public transportation. Those of us who chose to take the subway paid dearly with an unpleasant start to our race. Don't offer the "free" bus if it's not going to be there and not going to get athletes to the start. And then don't have your volunteers screaming at everyone to hurry up when we were there on time and were only late due to their screw up.

Like I said, it was a training run for me so it served it's purpose. But there were a lot of really disappointed people out there, a lot of them doing their first half-mary and not having a good experience. I have been a NYRR member for 9 years and run about 10 of their races a year, most of which are good. But I won't be doing this one again and I wouldn't recommend it to my friends. It's just too much hassle for the experience.

Last updated: 2008-09-13 12:00 AM
01:57:39 | 13.11 miles | 08m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 63/291
Overall: 1188/3054
Performance: Average
Course: Surprisingly hilly with some long, gradual grades and long downhills that were knee killers. The entire course was on closed streets, which I enjoyed. A mix of residential and industrial areas, nothing much to look at.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2008-09-14 12:30 PM

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: NYRR Grand Prix Queens Half Marathon

2008-09-14 4:07 PM
in reply to: #1673094

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New York, NY
Subject: RE: NYRR Grand Prix Queens Half Marathon

amazing job!  with a broken shoulder and pain you run faster than I do intact!

I will be thrilled if I can do your pace in one month!

2008-09-14 4:18 PM
in reply to: #1673094

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Science Nerd
Redwood City, California
Subject: RE: NYRR Grand Prix Queens Half Marathon
Great job on the race!!  Sounds like the logistics were a huge pain.  Hopefully they'll make it better in the future.
2008-09-14 5:10 PM
in reply to: #1673094

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Subject: RE: NYRR Grand Prix Queens Half Marathon

Logistic nightmare but you did well!

All this running will be good for yoru IM next year

2008-09-15 9:09 AM
in reply to: #1673094

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: NYRR Grand Prix Queens Half Marathon

OUCH!  Nasty truthfulness exudes!

Wha wha whaaaaa wha wha wha wha whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!  What was that, Miss Othmar?  You saw some guy with a dog and some sweater, huh?    (I love Peanuts!)

How's the shoulder recovering?

2008-09-15 1:28 PM
in reply to: #1673094

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Subject: RE: NYRR Grand Prix Queens Half Marathon

I think it was just an all around crappy weekend for racing anywhere in New York

You are brave to start that far back and run past all those peope, especially with a broken shoulder!

There's nothing worse, especially for me, than getting to a race late!  I wish you continued success with regaining your fitness and recovering from your injury.



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