20 November 2010

Knick Knock: Knickerbocker 60k Race Report

I always said I'd never run the Knickerbocker 60k - it's on roads, it's in Central Park, a place I've run to death...but when Ray K. said he'd be coming to it, I signed up. And then he didn't run it!

But no matter - I got to run with Tony and Peter, see Grace, Steve Tursi, Dave, Marcos, Jackie, and many others. It was so great seeing so many ultrarunners in NYC!

The course is primarily 9 loops of the four-mile loop in Central Park (to cut out the evil Harlem Hills). We headed south on the East Drive by 90th Street (yay, we didn't have to run UP Cat Hill), and proceeded to loop, run, run, run.

The crowd support was pretty fantastic. Other runners in the park, volunteers, ultra family and friends, and other spectators kept us going. One rather hilarious guy had a bunch of different signs (one for each loop), saying things like, "My butt is more sore from sitting here than your legs are from running" and "It's tough! That's why I'm watching and not running" and "I didn't see you on the last loop - can you run it again?" He was great. So were everyone else - just really encouraging and super motivating. I was wearing my Odwalla jacket and my flowered running skirt, and I got a lot of compliments. "Go Odwalla!" "Flowered skirt!" "Pretty!"

It was a cold start but a sunny day. We did a short out-and-back to make the mileage an even 37.2 miles. Tony, Peter and I were banging out some fairly good miles in the beginning, all sub-nines. I moaned, "I thought we were going to slow," and Tony claimed he was going slow. Peter was an ultra virgin, though he is no longer. Yay!

I felt pretty good the first couple loops, but around the 5th loop, I ended up letting Tony go ahead. I slowed down; my butt/hips were sores, and my tummy was feeling unhappy. Shortly after, I ran into my friend Scott, who kindly paced me during the most painful and slow loops of the race.

I got one of those second winds that are so common during ultras, and I pushed hard the last two loops, especially the last loop. I was so happy when I finished to cheering crowds (unusual for ultras, so this was nice), and I received a cute plaque. Marcos saved his life by offering me two Oreos, and I was able to cheer Peter in across the finish line.

Best of all, my 6:10 finishing time is a PR because I never ran this distance before. Wooohooo!

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