If you follow my blog, you know that I often got sent to NYC for work.
Usually, I just tried to squeeze in a run along the East River, along the Hudson River or in Central Park.
Well several years ago, I found a race!!!!
Apparently during the summer months on alternating Wednesdays at 7:10 pm, there is a cheap ($7.50 – if you sign up for the whole series, each race costs only $5) 5k in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. These races are organized by the Prospect Park Track Club (PPTC).
I ran one 5k in July 2017 and had a great time.
I was excited that when they were scheduled again in 2018, two of the 5k races coincided with the dates that I would be working in NYC. I ran both of them.
In 2019, I was only in NYC to run one of this 5K racing series.
And in 2020 and 2021…. there were no NYC work trips (due to COVID).
My trips to NYC this year are limited so I was very fortunate to be in NYC on a Wednesday when one these 5ks was happening.
You know I can’t resist signing up for a race. Besides, I needed to run 3 miles anyway.
Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:
This race was a spur of the moment decision. I mean I’d run a 4 mile race two days before
and then hiked up a mountain the day before.
Yes, I am crazy!!
Obviously, this was just for fun and an opportunity to run in Prospect Park with other runners..
I arrived in NYC around 11 am, checked into my hotel, and headed by subway to Queens to set up for my job the next day. I had some lunch and then headed back to Manhattan to change into running clothes.
The race didn’t start until 7:10 pm so I still had time to kill. I decided to visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens since it was across the street from the park where the race would be held.
I spent several hours wandering around the gardens and loved every minute. The gardens closed at 6pm so I headed over to the Prospect Park.
Luckily there were signs and I followed them to LeFrak Center at Lakeside (where the bib pick up was). I had a scenic walk through the park. I passed the race start and end.
As I got closer, there were many signs pointing you in the right direction.
I was pretty early and it wasn’t crowded at all.
It was strange to be at a race where I didn’t know a soul. But there were real restrooms, water and tables in the shade so I just hung out.
Eventually runners started arriving. There were probably close to 500.
Soon it was time for everyone to walk down to the start.
The photographer caught me on the way.
There were no corrals so I just pushed into the crowd.
The important thing to note about this race was that it was HOT!!!!!!!!!!! Like 90 degrees!!
I was familiar with the course. I had a bottle of water before the race and there was usually one water stop at mile 2 and then water at the finish.
Right before the start of the race, they announced that “one of their water stations has gone missing and if anyone’d seen or happened upon their water, please let them know or give it back!”
What!? That of course made me nervous even though I wasn’t planning to “race” it. It was extremely warm out… No breeze and humid, as well.
As I mentioned above, I had run this course several times in the past. On the whole, although it was not an easy course, I always did fairly well and since it attracts a younger crowd, I usually won my age group.
Al Goldstein 5Ks:
2017 – 27:52
2018 – 28:24, 28:02
2019 – 28:48
Building Brooklyn 5k: 2019 – 28:05
Brooklyn Ice Cream Social 5k: 2018 – 27:30
However, in 2022 on a very hot evening, anything could happen but I was NOT expecting any blazing speed.
Here’s a cool video of the course: https://www.plotaroute.com/route/840765?units=km
I knew about the big LONG hill during mile 1 as well as some rolling hills the last mile.
I also remembered that there were usually runners of all ages who all looked like “runners” and the finish times were incredibly fast. A little intimidating. but it is what it is. What else was there to do on a nice warm evening in NYC??
So here’s how it went down:
I started running the first mile slowly. My legs felt like lead and I was already sweating.
And then I got to the hill, I tried to run up it but it definitely wasn’t happening. I did my best…
Mile 2 was better but I was so hot AND thirsty.
Every who passed me by looked they had gone swimming. Even I was dripping wet from the humidity.
And so I ran then I walked and ran and then walked. I hoped that I was running more than walking but I wasn’t sure. And when I was running, I suppose I was running fast…
By the end of mile 3, I was crashing. I tried to finish strong but I just had to walk. And walk again.
I did not have enough energy to sprint and finished over 29 minutes. My slowest 5k this year.
But under the those miserable conditions, I was not disappointed in the least.
Post Race Activities:
I was a little dizzy and went directly to get water and sit down.
We did hear ambulances. Apparently someone went down during the race. (Unfortunately, I found out later on FB that the runner DIED!!! More info here.)
They quickly posted the results. I did win my age group (as I was the only one in my age group. LOL)
Additional Race Reflections:
Yes, it was a course PW.
But you can’t control the weather. And I’m happy that I ventured out to Brooklyn.
Unfortunately when I think back to this race, I will be thinking of the runner who died. He was only a few years older than I was, a NYRR coach who had completed 19 marathons and won his age group at the previous Al Goldstein 5k. But as some runners mentioned… he died doing something he loved. Still, very sad 😦
- Price – $7.50
- Vaccination required for all runners.
- Bag check
- Bathrooms (real ones!)
- Water before and after the race
- Decent turnout (450 runners)
- Chip Timing
- Marker at each mile
- 5 year Age group awards ceremony after the race
- Results immediately emailed to you
- MANY free photos
- Travel time to Brooklyn
- Evening Race
- NO WATER stops
- Death of a runner
Would I recommend this race?
Yes. Yes. It’s a nice local race. It was definitely worth $7.50. And if I am ever in NYC at the same time as one of PPTC’s races, I plan to sign up again.
Possibly another July 5k and definitely a 5k in August before the THREE fall half marathons arrive.
Happy Running! Ever run a race while you are traveling for work? Do you try to improve your times on the same course? How does the heat affect your finish times? Please share.
I’m also linking up here: