The annual NYRR Team Championships 5 mile race took place on Aug. 6 in Central Park.
As I lined up to run this race again for the West Side Runners, I really appreciated how this is probably the best race on the NYRR calendar. Even aside from the low entry fee (kept low partly by there being no t-shirt), it truly keeps alive the old traditions of road running in New York, being the one race more than any where the runners are really running for their team. No "unattached" runners may enter, and the men and women run separately an hour apart, so the numbers are low and manageable, only 866 male finishers. Nothing fancy, just a good fast five-mile race.
Afterwards, most teams also set up picnic areas for their members, and this is one of two real social events for WSX, the other being the post-New York Marathon party. So it's great to chat with my teammates. And despite the team competition, there is a lot of interteam socializing as well, and I enjoyed talking with my friends from Van Cortland Track Club, Taconic, Dashing Whippets, Prospect Park Track Club, and more.
As for the race itself, I was very happy with my time of 29:20, which was only a few seconds off my PR! If I had known, I might have pushed for it! I finished in 139th place, 12th in my age group, and third masters scorer for WSX, which took third in the masters division. In the open race, despite taking places 1, 2, 4 and 5 overall, West Side men settled for second in the team competition to New York Athletic Club.
But it was nice weather, a good race, and a good chance to reconnect with friends!