Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K #4 Race Recap

Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series #4 – July 5, 2017 –  7:10 pm

If you follow my blog, you know that I often get sent to NYC for work.

Usually, I just try to squeeze in a run on the East River, Hudson River or in Central Park.

run from my last visit to NYC

For this trip, I found a race!!!!

Woo Hoo!

So apparently during the summer months on alternating Wednesdays at 7:10 pm, there is a cheap ($7.50 – in past years it was $5) 5k in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Here’s all I could find out about the race from the NYCRuns website:

We’re gearing up for another great summer of evening 5K races! You don’t have to be fast to enter, but these races will help you find out how fast you can be!
Big news for 2017: we now have chip timing! All runners will receive their actual race time.
Races will start and end at the Bluestone Cafe at Lakeside Center.

There, we will offer:

  • Bib pickup starting at 6pm
  • Bag check
  • Lockers available for a fee
  • Bathrooms (real ones!)
  • Water after the race
  • 5 year Age group awards ceremony after the race

Plus some free photos off their site (from the last 5k):

Sounds like fun, right?

There were almost 600 runners at the last race!!! (but only 3 in my age group 🙂 )

So all I had to do is take a 2h45 hour train ride to Manhattan, check into my hotel, figure out what subway to take and get to Prospect Park by 6:30 pm or so.

suffering from a back ache during this inaugural poorly planned race (10/10/15)

I have run in Prospect Park once before for the RNR Brooklyn Half Marathon and I remember it being very hilly – like Central Park.

Below is the course map. However, I didn’t remember where the hills were…


But no worries. This was purely for another racing experience and hopefully a fun one.

So this time, there were no snafus in getting to the city from Albany. No problems with the hotel.  All I had to do was figure out how to get to the race.  No one at the hotel was helpful.  I wanted to run over the Brooklyn Bridge and then go to the race.

F train to the B train

Unfortunately there didn’t seem to be a way if I did that I could also get to the correct subway (at least I wasn’t sure how to) to get to Prospect Park.

So I played it safe and took 2 subways and arrived at the entrance of Prospect Park.  Very Early.

I walked over to the Botanical Gardens across the street but they were already were closed so I just walked into the park.

I had no idea how to get to the race start in this huge park but luckily I bumped into a race volunteer whom I followed.

I did a little exploring before I got my bib.

those are turtles (I hoped that I would not be running like one LOL)

yes, that algae is pretty disgusting

Finally I headed to the Lakeside Center (where there were local kids cooling off in the pool/fountain) to get my bib.

I was able to check a bag, use the (real) restroom, get some water and relax at a shady picnic table.

It was still an hour before the race was scheduled to start so that’s exactly what I did.  It was very warm (in the mid 80s) and I made sure to drink water to remain hydrated.

Little by little, the runners arrived.

Definitely an interesting experience running in a new place where I knew NO ONE!  The runners all seemed to look like the stereotyped “serious runner”.  You know what I mean.  (Later I would notice that 25 of them finished with less than average 6 min pace per mile!!)

Finally it was time to migrate toward the start in the park.  It was quite a walk (close to a mile, I bet)

heading to the start

This year for the first time, the race provided chip timing. I still lined up not too far away from the starting line.  Then chatted with some runners about the race. I found out that it started with a long uphill (but not steep like CP), then there were rolling hills and eventually it looped back to finish.

looking bored while waiting to begin

I should have warmed up but I didn’t And after sitting on the train for almost 3 hours, 45 min on the subway and then sitting at the café, my legs were stiff.

and I’m off…

I started running the first mile and I just couldn’t get going. Or maybe it was the heat or the uphill, but I was running so slow.

Mile 2 was better but there were no water stops.  You had to stop at a water fountain in the park.  I did not and by mile 3, I was crashing.

I had a walk a few times but when I saw the clock at the finish line, the competitive me came out.

I got up enough energy to sprint and finish a few seconds over 28 minutes (which turned out to be 27:52 chip time.)

No water at the finish line.  You had to walk back to the café.  So I just sat in the shade for a while to catch my breath.

Once I felt better, I started walking following the runners.

Well, it turned out they were leaving the park.  I was walking in the WRONG direction.

I had to return to get my bag and I wanted to check the race results.

By this point, I got a second wind and ran back to the finish and to the café.

I checked the results and was surprised that I was FIRST in my age group.

27:52 – finished 250 out of 378

I didn’t have to wait long before they started the awards ceremony.  The finish times were amazing!!

And the founder of the race, Al Goldstein was there and took a photo with each winner.

BTW: He is 96 years old!!

A nice lady took my photo and I hers.  She won her 65-69 age group.

We chatted for a while.  It was her first summer series race. She was babysitting her daughter’s apartment nearby. And she was nice enough to walk me to the subway.  (A much shorter walk if you entered at the right entrance.)

It was late by the time I got back to my hotel. (And I got to see the Brooklyn Bridge from the subway as we rode outside over the East River!)

But I did enjoy my first Brooklyn 5k!!

Race Splits
mile 1- 9:15
mile 2 – 8:45
mile 3 – 9:04
.14 – 7:09

Yes, my Garmin finally  recorded my lap times!!

Since it’s Friday, I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

My topic for this Friday is: Why Run an Impromptu Race is a New City

  1. It gets you moving (running.)
  2. You don’t have to figure out a safe running route.
  3. You run in a new place.
  4. You meet new people.
  5. It gets you out of your comfort zone.

Of course, I was tempted to relax in my hotel room, enjoy a nice meal in a restaurant, visit a museum or even take in a show.

But I am glad that I took on this new adventure.  (Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?)

Happy Running! Ever run a race solo in an unfamiliar place?


37 thoughts on “Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K #4 Race Recap

  1. But aren’t most of your halfs in FL solo?

    Most of the time the logistics are just too hard. I don’t think I would have done it. Especially in the summer heat. You did great; congrats!

    But no water AFTER? I mean, I know it’s inexpensive, but still . . .


    • All my halfs in Fla are part of a vacation to visit my friends. They are all well planned in advance. 3 of them, I actually met a friend at the race.

      I always like a challenge so it was kinda fun to figure it out myself.

      You had to walk to the café afterwards to get water. There were water fountains throughout the park. I just chose not to stop at them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You did enough planning to find the race & register beforehand!

        I went to the start of Montreal by myself (lloyd didn’t come) but ran into a friend. I knew she was there, but she was with family so I hadn’t expected at all to run into her!

        I went to Austin on my own, although of course I knew Austin well & actually was able to meet up with an online friend for the first time. But I didn’t see her race morning. It’s the only race I’ve had friends come out to cheer me on, though! Well, only half anyway. And yes, I realize you were cheering me on at the end of PCB . . .


        • True but I do feel like a fish out of water in NYC – it is such a huge city and the subway system very complicated. Without a smartphone and Google, I probably never would have attempted it. Don’t know Brooklyn at all and the park is large, as well.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a fun low key (and low cost) race! Great idea to use this as a run while you were in NYC. But boo on the water situation. I guess that’s how they keep the cost so low but that seems tough in the Summer.


    • It was fun. No refreshments and no shirt kept the cost down and I was fine with that. I could have stopped at a fountain in the park.


  3. Congratulations on your AG win!! I’ve become more accustomed to running races where I don’t really know too many people. I’ll definitely say it makes me appreciate the races back in Philly a lot more!


  4. nice!! Prospect Park is one of the only places I’ve really run in NY, for the RnR Brooklyn Half Marathon. And it IS hilly! How cool you got first place – love the photo with Al 😀

    we run in places we don’t know very well all the time 🙂 not always in a race but we try to find one if we are going to be travelling. I love going to a new place to run, my view is fresh, I’m not thinking about my legs/my breathing/ my watch, I’m just taking it all in.


  5. Darlene, I love that you take on these adventures – maybe it’s the non-city girl in me, but I can’t imagine taking two subways and finding my way to a park to do a race all by myself. That alone impresses me; big congrats on winning your AG! Oh and Al looks amazing – how fun that he comes out for his race!


    • I have to admit that it was a little daunting but I asked quite a few people for directions and then there’s my savior – my iPhone and Google.


  6. You make me smile 🙂 Why not ride the train three hours and go run lol I wish we lived closer, I would be so ready to go with you!!
    Congrats on the AG!! Your splits look awesome, you have been very speedy lately!! in the dang heat, impressive.


  7. What a fun race! Congrats on winning your age group!! However, the logistics to get there sound very complicated. It should be an easy task, right?

    I am surprised no one in the hotel was helpful.


  8. What a fun adventure! This is something I’d do…but the subway thing intimidates me. I’m not a good navigator (even with GPS technology), and I’d probably wind up in the wrong part of town and not be able to find my way back LOL Great job!!


    • I have a terrible sense of direction. I entered the park the wrong way and went in the opposite direction after I finished the race. Lol.


  9. Congrats on your age group win. You rock ! And yes, I do run in places when I travel but I get very nervous (get lost, get mugged…), so many times I don’t enjoy those runs as much…..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.