The Pajama Romp 6-Hour race has quickly become a favorite in the New York ultrarunning scene. It's a 6-hour race on a loop of just over 1.25 mile in beautiful Astoria Park, Queens, right on the water with views of Wards Island, and underneath the Triboro Bridge and Hell gate Bridge. It took place in the evening, from 5:00-11:00 pm, away from the worst of the summer heat. The 2013 edition was on Saturday, July 27 with excellent weather conditions, unlike the stifling heat of 2011 and the rain of 2012.
I had come into the race undertrained but was hoping for a good showing nonetheless. As with all race reports that don't have a happy ending, this one begins with, "I started out way too fast." Tommy Pyon and Aaron Heath took off like a shot, and although I didn't try to keep up with them, they motivated me to run faster than I should have! But that wasn't where my main problem was. After a couple of hours, solidly in third place and on point for a good mileage, my back pain reared its ugly head and forced me to slow down, even walking large chunks of some laps. Striding out just aggravated my back, so the running I did wasn't at a good speed. The pain came and went, but my legs had stiffened up so much that it was hard to get anything going. But I kept on, enjoying the company of the other runners, enjoying the beautiful evening.
In the end, I finished in eighth place for the men with 38.34 miles. Aaron beat out Tommy for the win, and Sky Canaves won the women's race convincingly. It was a great occasion to get together with runner friends, and to make new friends. One nice thing that stood out here is the number of talented young ultrarunners in the NYC area. There were a lot of new faces here, and they showed a promising future to continue the great tradition of ultrarunning in New York!