Happy Wednesday! Today I’m linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Jen from Pretty Little Grub, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Nicole from FitFul Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday!
This past Sunday was a big day for me. It was the day of my first 20 miler. To make this run seem more manageable, I decided to run Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon. That way I would only have to run an additional 7 miles.
Here’s a little more information on the reason for the race:
“The half-marathon celebrates the lives of two monumental figures in running history. Grete Waitz won the New York City Marathon a record nine times; her close friend Fred Lebow, former NYRR president and co-founder of the New York City Marathon, helped inspire the worldwide “running boom” of the 1970s and ‘80s and made running a sport for the masses. Lebow and Waitz both lost their lives to cancer, but their legacies continue to move runners to dedicate their miles to the fight against the disease.”
What a better way to honor these two influential runners and also support people currently dealing with cancer and cancer survivors.
The entire race takes place in Central Park. If you have never run in Central Park, it’s quite hilly, so two loops around the park is no small task!
The weather for the race was pretty decent – around 57 degrees but also 90% humidity – UGH! Why won’t the humidity just leave already?! It’s didn’t really make the race too uncomfortable but I was way more sweaty than I should have been for a race in October!
“The course is two-plus loops of Central Park. The start is on West Drive near 64th Street. You’ll complete two full counter-clockwise loops of the park, after which you’ll start a third loop and turn left onto the 72nd Street Transverse just past the 13-mile mark. The finish line is on the Transverse at the easternmost entrance to the Naumburg Bandshell area. Major uphills are at approximately 1.5, 3.5, 4.5, 7, 9.5, and 10.5 miles.”
Because this race in entirely in Central Park, I won’t do a mile by mile breakdown. If you have ever run in Central Park you know that it is beautiful. You can seriously just focus on the scenery and the miles fly by. This is pretty much what I did for the first loop of the race. I didn’t stop for a walk break until mile 8 and ran ALL THE HILLS (even Harlem Hill which is a beast)! After mile 8 I tried to run as long as I could and took 30 second walk breaks when needed. I was super happy to see that finish line!
After finishing the race, I ran an additional 4 miles in the park (I ran 3 pre-race miles). At around mile 19 I ran into Nellie! We gave each other a big hug. She also completed the race and was running a few extra miles to hit 20 for the day. It’s always fun to run into social media friends, but we were so tired that we forgot to take a selfie – blogger fail!
When I hit the 20 mile mark I did a little happy dance. I cannot put into words how great it felt to hit this goal. I was worried about this run ALL WEEK!
Great volunteer support – Every volunteer was super friendly and cheered us on as we ran. It was nice to have that support since there wasn’t much crowd support.
Other runners – The great thing about Central Park is that there are always other runners, bike riders and walkers in the park. Even though they weren’t running the race, these people cheered us on and gave a few high fives – it was nice!
Post-race food – All the usual suspects – apples, bagels, pretzels, gatorade and water. I like it when races still to the basics!
Well organized – I had to pick up my bib/shirt the day of the race and it was very easy. There was awesome signage in the park telling you exactly where to go. After the race it was easy to find everything, again, due to the signage and volunteers.
Shirt/Medal – I love the race shirt and the medal. NYRR never really disappoints with these two items.
Hills, Hills, Hills – This could be a “pro” depending on if you like hills, lol. I’m NOT a fan of hills but I know that they make you a stronger runner. Central Park is known for their hills, especially Harlem Hill.
That’s it! Overall it was a decent race and I was happy that the first half of the race felt great. I felt in control for most of the race, and I completed my 20 mile long run, so I have no complaints!
If you’ve training for a half marathon or marathon, what was the turning point for you?