Today was a beautiful day for the NYRR Team Championships, 5 miles in Central Park, with separate races for men (8:00 am) and women (9:00 am). It was open only to runners who are members of a running team, and I was proud to run for the West Side Runners (WSX).
I personally didn't have high expectations for the race itself, since I'm still not 100% after Badwater and the Queens Half Marathon. And with this being the most competitive race on the calendar, I wouldn't be likely to score for my team or get any age group awards. Plus, it seems like the shorter, faster races lately have aggravated my tight left hamstring, so I'm a little cautious, but it still works as a good speed workout. And it was good weather with lower humidity and a temperature of 70 degrees. Normally I'd be able to run under 30 minutes, but today I was happy with 30:49, which put me at 209th place. But the WSX men's team took the team title, along with the top five places, led by overall winner Kumsa Adugna Megersa.
But the main attraction of this race is the post-race picnic, and general socialization. It was good to chat with team leader Bill Staab and the other West Siders, including ultrarunners Admas Belilgne, Chip Tilden and Ralph Yozzo. Admas and Chip didn't run today but stopped by for support, and Chip took lots of pictures too. It was also nice to meet friends from other teams. Not surprisingly, right as I walked into the park and up to the port-a-potties near the start, who was there but Frank Colella, of the Taconic Runners. I'd see his teammate Emmy Stocker after the women's race, as she came through looking strong. Also after the race I chatted a bit with my Van Cortlandt friends Mike Oliva, Kevin Shelton-Smith and Mike Arnstein.
So a good day for a run and early enough to get home and take a nap!