The inaugural France Run 8K was held in Central Park on August 29th, 2015.
This was race #5 in the 9+1 Program for me, I’m making progress at last! I’ve been incorporating these races into my weekend long runs by nestling them between warm-up and cool-down miles. This time I chose to run 3 miles prior to the start of the race, using it as a warm-up with the intention of running 2 additional miles after the race as well.
(running along the East River)
I arrived to Central Park about 20 minutes before 8AM and stretched my slightly tired legs. The temps hovered in the low 70s without too much humidity, but I felt that this would soon change.
Miles 1 – 2.5
I started the race with a bit of lead-leg syndrome which thankfully eased off within the first mile. I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring everyone around me and running my own race (← my running motto!), but constantly being passed by people left and right at the start of any race is always annoying. I resisted the temptation to speed up and maintained my slow run pace. The cat hill (lovingly called so because it has a hideous cat statue showcased along it) wasn’t too bad, but I was still running cautiously because of some knee pain I experienced earlier in the week.
(note that the final average pace is off because of the total distance my Garmin calculated)
Miles 2.5 – 5
I was seriously dreading Harlem Hill from the moment I crossed the start line. Because of this mental build-up, I was pretty stressed as we approached the hill. But much to my surprise, I felt strong and even started passing people on the way up! The west side of Central Park is pretty hilly in general, and my legs definitely felt the ascends and descends. I’ve gotten shockingly good at negative splitting (is that even a saying?) races, and managed to do the same this time as well. So all those people who were passing me at the start? I was now zooming past them! Ok so maybe not all of the people, but surely some of them…I hope. I did an epic sprint to the end and happily crossed the finish line.
Final Time: 48:35 (9:47 min/mile pace)
Place: 3168 / 5288
Age Division (F, 25-29): 339 / 613
I considered finishing up the weekend run with 2 slow miles for a grand total of 10 miles, but I didn’t want to push my luck given my knee pain earlier in the week…8 total miles was enough for me. And speaking of knee pain, I had none the entire day!
• Race course – Central Park, need I say more? Even though we ran the dreaded Harlem Hill, it was a fun added challenge (yes, I just said that).
• Water stations – There were plenty of water stations as usual, the race organizers have been on-point with this! But to whom it matters, I didn’t see any Gatorade, which is a must to some in the summer heat.
• Race tech tee – I have an undying appreciation for races that give out moisture-wicking tech tees, and this race wasn’t an exception! The white tees are cute and versatile (and not cotton…yay)!
• Post-race festivities & goodies – The standard apples and bagels were handed out at the finish line and there was also music, plenty of booths, free food samples (chocolate, crepes, macarons, fresh tea!), and even a raffle for things like champagne and a free trip to Paris.
• Cost – Many of the NYRR races are incredibly cheap…I paid only $23 as a NYRR member, but non-members pay $33 for the early-bird price (which increases with time).
• No race photos – I’m probably just being picky (totally am), but I would’ve loved to see some race photos!
I thought that, for an inaugural race, this event was fun and well-organized! I can totally see myself running this race next year, especially because I’m in need of a new 8K PR…