|The race t-shirt.|
Packet pick-up was a breeze in spite of the larger numbers and they also had a bag check. After changing into our racing flats, Helen and I did a nice warm-up mile through the neighborhood. By the time we got back, the starting line was looking crowded so we hurried to find spots near the front. It looked like a faster crowd than before but I still figured we'd do pretty well overall.
|Me, on the final hill.|
This section, the bulk of the race, is full of turns and hills. Just looking at my splits you can see how steep the hills were. Mile 2 was a speedy 6:08, while miles 3, 4, and 5 were 6:28, 6:27, 6:29 respectively. No matter how much downhill there was in a given mile it couldn't completely make up for the steep climbs.
For much of the race I was running with or near three runners from NYAC, a guy and the two lead females. They were friendly and we chatted a bit, plus I got to pretend that the applause for the lead females was also for me (though there was plenty of cheering for everyone).
By the time we finished mile 5, most of the hills were out of the way. That's how I managed a 6:08 mile 6 (my same pace for that mile in 2010!). Of course, the steep downhill from just after mile 1 becomes a steep uphill at the end of the race as we return towards the finish. I knew this hill was coming and had mentally prepared for it but it still sucked. You could hear the cheers from the finish line, though, which helped a bit.
Just after I crested the hill another runner edged past me. I was having none of it so I surged and managed to pass him again just before crossing the finish line. Good enough for a 39:15 finish, 13th place overall, and 3rd in the my age group.
My friend Helen crossed a couple minutes after me and we headed in search of the delicious donuts I remembered from 2010. There were plenty of them, though we restrained ourselves and did a cool-down along the course so we could see more of the costumes. We even saw a celebrity of sorts:
We both had a ton of fun and I highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a good time (though definitely not a PR). Of course, the caramel apple I had later in morning may have been even better than the race itself.
|That's my happy face, I swear!|
While the weather was a bit warm for a race, it was perfect for exploring Sleepy Hollow and neighboring Tarrytown. All in all, a great fall day!
Note: The first three photos in this post are from Rivertown Runners; the last two photos in this post are from my friend Helen.