The Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 Miler was held on Sunday, June 28th in Central Park. I’m a huge fan of races held in Central Park because my commute to the start involves a quick 10-15 minute walk (AKA more sleep for me!).
I woke up fairly early and went through my traditional routine of peanut butter + banana toast with coffee, followed by foam rolling and stretching, before setting out towards Central Park. It was a humid and foggy day with the threat of rain, but of course the excitement of race day trumped all.
I lined up early in my corral, eyed the medals hanging for motivation (I had no idea there would be medals), and patiently waited until the start. Twenty minutes later, we were off!
Mile 1 – 2.5
It wasn’t too crowded at the start of the race and I settled into a comfortable pace. Given that I was still easing back into running and had just run the Queens 10K the weekend prior, I didn’t want to overload my legs. It was muggy and super humid but the temps hovered around the mid-60s. My last-minute decision to run with music (something I never ever do) turned out to be the perfect boost to what already started out to be an awesome run. I had just “discovered” a new-to-me artist – Clean Bandit – via this song that you all probably have heard already, and ended up grooving to their music all through my run.
Mile 2.5 – 5
I honestly can’t really recall in great detail how the race went, but at the halfway point I was hit with the ultimate runner’s high! It was right around the time this song by Clean Bandit came on and I instantly fell in love. The mixture of classical music seamlessly blended into an EDM track seriously did something to my brain to release a stream of endorphins. I started speeding up and passing people, all while dancing awkwardly with a huge smile on my face like a crazy person. I was flying and loving every single second, it was intense! (P.S – this song and this song by Clean Bandit are both SO GOOD). I’ve gotten a runner’s high a few times before, but it happens much less often these days. Of course, I ended up using every last bit of energy remaining to sprint across the finish line and pick up my medal.
(Can someone please explain to me why the average pace given by my Garmin is so off from the official pace listed for the race??? It happens every single time!)
Final Time: 46:01 (9:13 min/mile pace)
Place: 1326 / 3320
Age Division (F, 25-29): 81 / 292
I was so grateful that the rain held off all morning, but of course it started raining while I was en route back home!
• Race course – Central Park is the ultimate runner’s oasis, and we didn’t even have to run the dreaded Harlem Hill!
• Water stations – There were plenty of water stations along the course despite the shorter race distance
• Medals – Because who doesn’t love race bling?
• Not a 9+1 qualifier – This is honestly the only con I can think of for this race, it would’ve been nice to have it count towards the nine races I have to run this year!
Even though this race didn’t count towards my 9+1 race requirement for guaranteed entry to the 2016 NYC Marathon, I still really enjoyed participating for such a great cause. I can definitely see myself running this race again next year!