Posts Tagged ‘results


2011 NYRR Gridiron 4M

It still is taking a little bit of getting used to running again. Last year at this time I put in a 60 mile week. Right now I’m lucky to hit 20, but it’s a start, right?

Today is the first time I did an actual race since I started running again. Yes, I realize that I ran the Jingle Jog back in December, but I was more doing that for the swag and the fun of running Prospect Park. Today was a chance to run and show my Stillers pride. I couldn’t pass it up.

However, even getting to the race was treacherous. The rain yesterday combined with temperatures hovering around freezing and New York’s penchant for not clearing walking paths meant that every step on the way to the train and the starting line was potential disaster. Prior to the race I did some scouting on the first mile and a half of the course. Ice abounded. There would be no records broken in Central Park this morning.

The race started as expected. The first mile of these races is always slow because it’s nearly impossible to get going in a heavy crowd. I didn’t have a goal, but mentally I told myself I’d be fine with 8min/mile pace for the race. About 3/4 of a mile into the race I hit black ice. The Road Runners tried really hard to keep the path clean, but to take care of everything they’d need to salt the entire course. My right leg went to kick off and slipped out from under me. I didn’t fall but the shock certainly made me lose focus.

I can say that I gave this race nearly all that I had to give. By the start of the fourth mile I was severely hurting. I was out of breath and it was sheer will that took me through the end of the race. I was also absolutely parched. However the ice on the path caused me to shy as far away from the water stations as possible, that just wasn’t a risk I wanted to take.

I held a pretty constant pace for the entire race. This despite the fact that I felt like I was lagging near the end.

My final time was 31:30, for a pace of 7:52. That still is 30 seconds slower than I was running 4M races last year. But the important thing is that I didn’t hurt as a result of running. In that context, this race was a wonderful success.

Official Results from the 2011 NYRR Gridiron 4M


2010 NYC Half Marathon

Sunday morning was a beautiful day for running. Starting about 6am more than 11,000 runners filed into Central Park from the Upper East Side in anticipation of the 2010 NYC Half Marathon.  First up was about eight miles in Central Park, followed by jaunt through Times Square, west on 42nd St, and finally down the west side highway to the finish down in Battery Park City. I try not to set many goals for races because I usually disappoint myself – today was different. My goal was 1:45:59, enough to get me into the C corral for the Chicago Marathon. My previous best was 1:48:26.

This was my first time running the NYC Half and I was more than slightly disappointed with my bib number, 15164.  In the Marathon that would be a great bib number, but for this it meant that I was in the back of the corrals.  Literally, the very last group to cross the starting line.  They didn’t even have anything corral like set up for us in the back, just a line in the road we were told to stand behind.  A little chatting with other people revealed that it looked like number assignment for these lottery winners was done alphabetically. Yet another part of the agony of having a last name near the end of the alphabet.

We had no idea when the race actually started. We couldn’t hear any of the announcements because no speakers were run that far back.  Looking at a map we were around a half a mile from the start of the race.  Finally, the race started and we began the slow march to the start. At around 17:35 I finally crossed the starting line, ready to run…right into groups of walkers three and four abreast.  Running around Central Park was much more like going rock climbing than running.  I was constantly looking around to try and find gaps in runners so I could pass people.  Often times I’d try to dart ahead only to have a gap close. I try not to be a dick when I run, but sometimes you just need to cut through a group of six runners doing 12 minute miles in a wall across the course.

My first mile was about 10 minutes. I began to get disheartened. If the race stayed like this I would have little chance of making the C corral in Chicago. My time slowly picked up, but it was mentally exhausting. The entire time I was looking around for holes and trying to dart into them. Periodically I risked my ankles by jumping up on the curb and taking a few steps to go around people. I’m certain people perceived me as being a jerk, but hey, it’s not my fault my last name starts with W.

As we continued around the first loop I heard them clearing runners out of the way for the lead runners who were finishing the eight miles in the park at their blistering paces.  I must have been just ahead of this group because they never lapped me, but they came really close.  To be fair, I’d imagine that a 17 minute head start gave them an edge on me.

My 5k time was around 27 minutes.  Ouch.  I can’t be entirely certain of the exact time because I didn’t get a split for it as they had already deactivated the sensor for the lead runners on my tail. Looking at the overall stats it looks like a lot of people missed that split.  Luckily, by this point the roads were opening up some.  I took advantage of my hill training and was able to blast up and down the hills as we approached Harlem and had my first 10k at 50:14 (I had no idea of the exact time during the race, however).  My goal seemed doable, but still a stretch.  The park roads get narrow and crowded, especially as we climbed the hill around the Lasker Rink.  I was still passing people left and right and almost never getting passed, partially because if you start out in the back it means all the faster people are already ahead of you.

The turn out of the park was tight and narrow, but it was nice to see fans there. Then everything changed, out of the serene park and down 7th avenue into Times Square.  The entire road was closed for runners, this gave us a huge amount of space to run and provided a great opportunity to pass lots of people as I cruised down the east side of the road. By the time I reached the core of Times Square many of the fans had already left. The singalong was a little disappointing, they were playing a song I hardly knew and not many fans were singing.  Where’s “Sweet Caroline” or “American Pie” when you need them?   New Yorkers act all hard core, but they couldn’t have stuck around singing songs for another 20 minutes?  Sheesh.

Rounding the corner to 42nd St were were packed in the north half of the street.  The road was pretty pitted to which made running a bit more interesting. Down to the West Side Highway and then north for a little bit to 44th St.  Here we hit a headwind. It was actually a relief because it meant a tailwind for the end of the race and blew off some of the sweat from my brow.  Runkeeper told me my times were also doing quite well. I was running what I thought to be about a 1:46 pace. Rather than thinking about how to pass runners I was now obsessed with mentally calculating my pace and given scenarios.

The West Side Highway is actually a pretty boring run.  Who really wants to look at New Jersey?  Fans lined most of the road, which made the race easier for me. As we approached 20k my legs began to ache. I managed to summon the strength to cross the finish line strong just as the official time was crossing 2 hours 1 minute.  I began to second guess myself about what time I crossed the starting line.  What if I didn’t make it under 1:45:59?  Would I blame my poor starting position?  Would I sign up for another half in an attempt to break the 1:45:59 barrier? I was tired, but not completely exhausted. I think I could have done better, but I felt satisfied knowing that at worst I PR’d on the race.  Lots of smiles at the finish from hundred of other people who achieved PR’s too.

I got my finishers medal, the little thermal blanket, which was very welcome in the shade of Battery Park City, and my finishers bag.  I tried to find the celebration and raffles, but couldn’t.  Finally, I wandered back over to the east side of Manhattan to catch the train to Grand Central and another train back home.  Waiting on the train at Grand Central I hit up NYRR’s results website. 1:43:44.  2308 out of 11439 — close to the top 20% of runners in the race.  I was feeling pretty good. It was a great day for a race.

1:43:44 and 2308th out of 11493

1:43:44 and 2308th out of 11493


2010 New York Road Runners Manhattan Half Marathon

When I laid out my 2010 running goals I said that I wanted to run in two different half marathons this year and have at least one of those half marathons with a sub 1:50:00 time.  At the time I made the post, I was unaware of the New York Road Runners Manhattan Half Marathon — two and a half gruelling laps up and down the hills of Central Park at the end of January.  Naturally, I registered for the race.

It was brisk this morning, but not cold.  The air was about 35 degrees, cold enough that most people were wearing tights, gloves, and hats.  I warmed up by running to the starting line around West 62nd St at about a 10 minute/mile pace.  As usual, the NYRR staff were on the ball on made it incredibly easy to get started with the race.  I found my corral, which was a bit further back than normal due to the larger number of runners in this race, about 5500.

Although my training runs have been floating around 8:10/mi for runs around 7 miles, I felt like I wanted to take this run a bit easier.  I knew I couldn’t overrun and spend the rest of the day in bed.  Also, Central Park is tough, there’s a nasty hill on the northwest side of the park that I dreaded climbing twice.  I set my goal to finish under 2 hours.  The 1:50:00 goal would wait for another race that wasn’t so bad.

I got into my corral, turned on RunKeeper, and prepared myself for a leisurely couple of laps around the park.  My first mile was slow, about 9 minutes, largely because of the large number of runners in the park.  After that point I was able to pick up the pace some.  Familiarity with the park definitely helped out.  I’ve run enough around Central Park that I know every turn and hill in the park.

As I continued I kept up a good pace and RunKeeper dutifully chatted in my ear once every five minutes to let me know my approximate time, distance, and pace.  10:02, 9:25, 8:50, 8:40, 8:35, 8:30.  I was now at considerably under my 2:00:00 overall pace and feeling great.  I decided to try and stick with that pace.  But I was feeling great.  My pace hovered around 8:30, but then began to drop some more.  Even on tough miles, like mile 10 which faced the dreaded hill, I continued to do well.  In the end I crossed the finish line at 1:48:26, an 8:16 min/mi.

Split Times for Manhattan Half Marathon

RunKeeper Estimated Splits for the Manhattan Half Marathon. The Big Hill was Mile 4 and Mile 10.

The race was great.  A completely unexpected find, and even more unexpected that I would do so well.  Two weeks ago I had my first race with a sub 8 minute overall pace, and today I ran an unexpected half marathon and finished faster than I thought I could.  Interesting things await for the NYC Half Marathon in March.  It’s a considerably easier course with considerably more people.  Should I push down to 1:45?  I think I should.

Pace, Elevation, and Distance for the Manhattan Half Marathon

Pace, Elevation, and Distance for the Manhattan Half Marathon

Recent Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Marathon Times

2011 NYC Marathon3:57:45
2011 Hartford Marathon3:58:17
2011 Chicago Marathon4:20:16
2011 Grandma's Marathon4:07:43
2010 Big Sur International Marathon4:22:49
2009 NYC Marathon4:37:05
2009 Twin Cities Marathon4:43:28
2009 Pittsburgh Marathon4:14:38
2008 Erie Marathon5:11:40

Upcoming Races

  • Nov 6 - New York City Marathon, New York, NY
For previous races, check out my Race Log