This past weekend started with the Newport 10k – I’ve enjoyed this race since the first time I did it a few years ago, and I will write more about that race in a separate post, hopefully tomorrow.
I had to leave that race fairly soon after the finish to prepare for the next day.
The next day was the event I’ve been preparing for since before January – The Highland Park Run in the Park 5k. I started preparing for this late last year in trying to redesign the course, and then getting the course certified by USATF. It’s always nerve-wracking when something you have been working on for so long is actually going to happen, but I didn’t get too bad a night’s sleep before it.
There were challenges on race day (and a bit the day before) – tables showed up late, and with a huge number of on the day sign ups we realized that the event was going to be more popular than it ever has been before – this year we had about 100 more finishers than last year, taking our numbers over 500 for the first time. This meant we were short on t-shirts, and later in the race it turns out short on water bottles at the finish too. At least there’s a water fountain there though.
As this was the race that started my running addiction, I have to run it, so I jumped in on the start line to take part. The new course seemed to work out well, and it seemed that this year we didn’t have to deal with some of the problems of previous years with drivers on the course so perhaps we were more effective at getting the word out. It was a tough race and I’m sure that was in part because of the 10k the day before, but I managed a 19:48 to win my age group, and get 15th overall (same position as last year I believe).
The men’s race had ended in a sprint finish with Ezra Chevitz of Edison, NJ winning in 17:37.1 and Rufino Mendez of Metuchen, NJ extremely close behind with 17:37.8. Third place was taken by Zachary Subar of Highland Park, NJ with a time of 17:55.7.
The women’s race was just as exciting with all 3 top placed women coming in one after the other, and the 4th place woman also close behind. Ali Horton of New Brunswick, NJ took the top spot in 20:51.4, followed by Rebecca Chant of Highland Park, NJ in 20:52.5, followed by Danae Younge, also of Highland Park, in 21:00.0.
After I finished I stood near the entrance to the final stretch on the track to cheer people in – several of my coaching group were running and I wanted to see how they did and cheer them on. One of them had asked me what time I thought they would get and I gave an estimate which turned out to be uncannily accurate, and when she saw the clock on the final straight she pushed herself to beat that time and came in about 10 or 15 seconds faster than my prediction.
As with last year the kids races that followed the 5k on the High School track were very well attended, and a lot of fun. My kids both took part, and my little one, who is 5, took me completely by surprise with his speed – I have never seen him move so fast and he had the biggest smile on his face the whole time.