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NYRR Mini 10K – June 8, 2019

Today I ran my second race of this month–and this week–the NYRR Mini 10K. The name is a bit misleading…it’s a full 10K, but the original event was considered a mini marathon. This is a women’s only race, and it’s the only NYRR event that I’ve run every year since becoming a runner. I love this race, and think that women’s only races have a special vibe. This year it was also the Women’s USATF 10K championships! On the way to the start line, I saw some of the elite women warming up–including Jordan Hasay, and I fangirled a little a lot.

Pre-race prep

My last run was Wednesday’s 5K, I ate junk food for dinner the night before, and had to stay up late dealing with work stuff (the joys of running a summer program–the odds are good that at least one kid is sick at all times…). Great pre-race prep, I know. Some of the stuff (ie, work) was unavoidable, but otherwise, I’m a dummy.

My goal was to run a sub-1 hour 10K, but since Central Park is hilly, I had no idea if it was going to happen.

Race overview

Cost: $30. As a NYRR member, most regular races cost $18, if I sign up during early registration…this one costs $30 because it’s a fancier race: more amenities afterwards (that I never use), a nicer shirt, and a medal. Also, the first mile or so is run on the street (Central Park West), and closing down the street = permits = money. I’m honestly fine with this. I may sound like a broken record, but NYRR events are stupidly well-organized. Please, take my money. Value for money: A

Website and Publicity: A…no comments.

Transportation to race: I set my alarm for 6am, so I’d have time to make coffee and prepare. Instead, I hit snooze until around 6:30…this meant that I didn’t have time to take the subway, so I took a Lyft to the start line. (I took the subway home.)

Weather: Low-mid 70s, pretty sunny, not too humid. There’s a decent amount of shade on the course, so I didn’t suffer. In past years it has been obscenely humid, so I was grateful to avoid that.

Time: 8am. The timing means that it runs the risk of feeling like I’m running in a hot, sweaty armpit. However, I am also lazy and love to sleep in. As I wrote above, I had enough time to snooze and still arrive in time…so overall, no complaints.

Packet pick-up: NYRR Run Center. I got my bib along with the 5K bib. So convenient!

Start/finish area: Regular start line, I saw the elite athletes warming up…so it was fun! I didn’t stick around for the race village/after party, but I’m sure it was nice.

Shirt: One of the reasons I love this race (and a few other summer races) is that the shirt is actually a singlet/tank top. The fit is always good, and it’s a nice thing to have for summer running. Some years the colors are weird/it’s white, but this year it’s cute. Shirt: A+, definitely wearing this again

What I wore: Whippets singlet, shorts, sunglasses, Global Running Day buff (picture further down). This was perfect, but the buff + sunglasses + headphones combo was tricky to figure out. In the end, I had to push the buff up a bit and tuck the ear holder part of the headphones under my sunglasses. Once that was done, it was smooth sailing.

Bag drop: Always available at NYRR races, but when I live relatively close by, I never use it.

Course: The first mile or so of the course is run along Central Park West. It’s fun! What was NOT fun was mile 3, which went up Harlem Hill the “easy” way. For those who don’t know, most races in Central Park are run counter-clockwise. This means running up both Cat Hill and Harlem Hill, and it’s a doozy. This race, however, is run clockwise. I really do think that running Harlem Hill clockwise is easier, but my body was not having it this week. I felt some tightness in my chest, which freaked me out, because it never happens. I pulled over to the side of the road and walked until the chest tightness/pain went away (plus a few more seconds, to be safe). That was the only time I walked all race, and the only time I felt any chest tightness. #ThisIs30 Mile 3 was my slowest mile, at 9:50.

When I crossed the 5K marker, my garmin said 29:59. Since the worst hills of the course were done, it meant that a sub-1 hour 10K was possible! At some point during Mile 4, I saw a woman on the ground, with people surrounding her, trying to help. It was sobering, and I hope she’s okay.

Mile 5 clocked in at 9:00, and right around the mile marker was the Dashing Whippets cheer station! After that, I started counting from 1 to 100…then back to 0…basically trying to distract myself and keep my pace up. I succeeded, with the last 1.2 miles being my fastest of the race. I finished in 58:29 (just a few seconds slower than last year’s Mini 10K), and I’m pleased with my time, given the walk break and that my stomach was not 100% during the race. As an aside, I really liked that they had countdown signs for 800m, 400m, and 200m…it made the event feel more high-end, and it was a great motivator for me to keep up the pace.

Water stations: NYRR usually has water stations every mile…but this time they didn’t. I took fluids at every stop, even Mile 1, which I often skip. I was waiting for the Mile 2 water station, but there was nothing until around 2.7mi. I believe this was a mistake…there was one station on the course with Gatorade, which I took and then sort of regretted, because my stomach felt a bit unsettled. Water: B-…acceptable, but there should have been at least one more station

Bathrooms: Plenty, which I didn’t use Bathrooms: A+

Pictures: Free, and will be available in a few days. Fingers crossed there are some decent ones! I don’t usually get great pictures through NYRR…it’s usually other photographers on the course who take pictures of people in team singlets…

Medal: I like it!

Here you can see the Global Running Day buff! I have a huge forehead, and the buff protect the top part from getting sunburnt, which is nice.

And a close-up!

in conclusion

Central Park is not the ideal place for a 10K PR, and June in Central Park is even less so (my Central Park 10K PR comes from the Healthy Kidney 10K in 2017). But I love this race! There’s a special energy, and even though I usually hate my life for at least part of the course, by the end it’s all smiles and endorphins. I’m sad I won’t be running this race for the forseeable future, but I had a fantastic time!

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