Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Race Report: BUS Pajama Romp 6-Hour

Rich Innamorato and the Broadway Ultra Society put on the Pajama Romp 6-Hour for the second straight year, on July 28 in Astoria Park. Last year's race was surprisingly well-attended, and again this year about 70 runners were expected. Mark your calendars, July 28, 2012 was the first time Richie used electronic chip timing for a BUS race!

The Pajama Romp (originally Pajama Run, but apparently someone has a trademark on that name, but I like Pajama Romp better anyway, it sounds slightly scandalous, especially since it lasts for 6 hours) is unique in that it is an evening run, going from 5:00-11:00 p.m. The course is a nice loop of about 1.27 miles in Astoria Park, looping under both the Triborough and Hell Gate Bridges, and it has a nice view of the water and Wards Island, as well as the Manhattan skyline.

I had just run Badwater 12 days before, so I was using this as a training run, a fun run, and a chance to get together with my cool running friends. I was hoping for 42-43 miles and a strong finish, but I did tire out as time wore on and I finished with about 39 miles, good enough for 4th place male, 6th overall.

Dennis Ball, who also donated the Gatorade, won the race with 45.31 miles, with Aaron Heath less than a mile behind, and Christopher McGovern got third. Jimena Sachdev repeated as women's champion from last year with 41.97 miles, Jodi Kartes-Heino was second and Elaine Acosta third.

The weather was a change from last year - instead of intense heat we had heavy rain. The rain started about 15 minutes before the race and finished shortly after the race began, but it lasted long enough to be an inconvenience. Most of the time the weather was good for running, you just had to go around one big puddle. There were some glitches with the electronic timing, which happens sometimes, but it was backed up by manual lap counting as well. All race directors who put on loop races should take a lesson from Richie on how to do manual timing!

The best part of these races is always the comeradery, hanging out with the other runners, especially at a timed race where everyone finishes at the same time. Pizza and pop were provided after the finish, and it was another excellent adventure with BUS and the New York ultrarunning community!

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