Today was a beautiful sunny day for a 10K in Central Park - the 7th annual Scotland Run. This is the culmination of Scotland Week in New York, although I don't know what else goes on to celebrate Scotland. But certain dignitaries from Scottish government were on hand, as well as the Scottish band Whiskey Kiss, who played before and after the race.
At the beginning of any race, there's always a little bit of dread, knowing the pain you're going to have to put yourself through, and a 10K is no exception, since the pace will be so much faster than an ultra. And this race, coming just a week after the Queens 50K, I was worried about starting off fast and crashing after a few miles. But my race went well, and despite the heavy breathing I managed to keep under 6:00 per mile pace, and finished in 36:40, just 4 seconds off a PR! That may be a bit misleading, however, since that was three years ago, and I believe it was gun time, whereas now the NYRR records net time as the official time. But still much better than I had expected, and a time I'm very happy with, and squeaks me into the top 100 at 97th place overall. And it gives me hope that I still might have a sub-marathon PR in me yet at my advanced age!
I was also very proud of my West Side Runners teammates. We took seven of the top nine spots including winner Ketema Nigusse in 29:35!!! In fact, the top four finishers, three of whom were West Side Runners, all broke the previous course record! Congrats!
I had a good vantage point to watch the women's top finishers. Periodically I would hear bystanders shout to the women near me that they were the first women. I was running alongside one woman late in the race who I picked to be my favorite, for no real reason, and told her "You can catch her" referring to the woman about 20 yards ahead. Sure enough, she caught her, then the woman in front of that, and those were the top three women, so I'd like to think that I might have given some help to winner Stephanie Lenihan, who finished about 20 seconds ahead of me.
Interesting side note, nearby the lead women was a woman on bike whose job it was to clear the roadway for the lead women. Coming down Cat Hill at about 4 1/2 miles, I hear a thump and a big groan from the crowd nearby. I looked over to see her bike struggling as the remains of the squirrel clinged to her front tire as it went round. Not a pretty sight.
After the race, there was good music by Whiskey Kiss, some break dancers from Brooklyn (I don't understand the connection with Scotland, but who am I to argue), and raffle prizes. The prizes were cashmere gloves, other cashmere clothing items, and three trips to Scotland, none of which I won!