Better late than never, here's my report on the BUS 6-Hour Race, held on March 31 in Crocheron Park, Queens. The race was held in conjunction with the annual New York Ultrarunning Grand Prix awards brunch (or lunch), where top local runners of 2011 are recognized.
But before the awards, there was a 6-hour race to run. The weather was cold, considering the warm late winter and spring, low 40's, some spotty rain, and fairly breezy conditions, especially on the backstretch by the gazebos. Of all the races I've run in Crocheron Park, this is the first time the start/finish has been near the tennis courts. This was done because we were given permission to use the indoor space there, which was small but very welcome, being heated!
Oh yeah, the race. I came in hoping for a PR (currently about 47.6 miles), and hoping for an outside shot at 50 miles, and I started out aggressively on about a 50-mile pace. Tommy Pyon still ran ahead of me, but I fell into second place behind him. I ran a while even with Aaron Heath (who beat me at the 6-Hour Birthday Run last October), but I pulled ahead of him eventually. I was able to keep on the same fast pace for about the first half before slowing down. And as I slowed, Byron Lane eventually caught up with me, and we ran together for a couple of laps before he pulled ahead. Eventually Aaron passed me as well, and Tommy lapped me a couple of times. My energy was lapsing, but I still finished with a good total of 45+ miles and 4th place. Tommy, Aaron and Byron were 1st, 2nd and 3rd. For the women, Jodi Kartes-Heino won in a close race with Shannon McGinn, who was really pouring it on at the end.
But this was my first race of any distance this year, so it was good to be back out there, chatting with friends, and taking a stroll through my home away from home (away from home), Crocheron Park.
At the Grand Prix awards lunch, I also was blessed with the 2011 Grand Prix Championship, my third time winning the award. Jodi took home the women's honors.