On Saturday, I ran the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K. Ever since deciding not to run the NYC Marathon this year, I knew I wanted to partake in the festivities and of course cross the marathon finish line for the 4th straight year. I have been following all the excitement and hype around the marathon on social media and was really feeling down about missing it so I am glad I signed up for the race. Also two years ago, Josh and his family ran the race so I knew it was a good one!
I went to the expo at Jacob Javits Center on Friday night right before it closed to pick my marathon and Dash to the Finish bibs. The line was really long to pick up the Dash to the Finish bib and shirt – I guess this is what happens when you wait until the last minute. I quickly walked through the rest of the expo, very uninterested since I wasn’t running the marathon and made it in and out in less than 40 minutes.
On race morning, I got up a little earlier than I normally would and since it was still dark out, I cursed myself, like I usually do before an early morning run, for putting myself through this torture. My morning routine now includes pumping so it takes me a bit longer and of course I underestimate the amount of time I needed. I left the apartment a little later than I wanted. After I parked the car by Columbus Circle area (so I could be closer after the finish), I ended up taking a taxi to the start. I really wanted to run over but I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough time.
I made it to race central (47th and 2nd) by 8:10AM for an 8:30AM start so I actually had plenty of time to use the port-a-potties and line up in my corral. I can’t remember the last time I lined up in my assigned corral; these days I arrive at races right as they start. With the staggered start, I didn’t cross the start line until 4 minutes or so in, which wasn’t too bad. The course went south on 1st Avenue and then west on 42nd until 6th Avenue where we turned to go north and eventually a right (east) on Central Park South and entered Central Park at Grand Army Plaza to complete the partial lower loop. The finish is the marathon finish line by Tavern on the Green. Even though I was running hard, I really enjoyed all the sights along the course. It’s not every day you run right by Grand Central, Bryant Park, and Carnegie Hall. My friend, Julio was also out cheering so I kept a lookout for him as well. I saw him right at the turn on Central Park South and then again right before the last hill towards the finish.
I was extremely excited to finish and cross the marathon finish line without feeling like I just ran a marathon. My finish time was exactly 29:00; 9:20 pace, which is far from a PR but some of the fastest miles I’ve run postpartum. I had to wait a bit to pick up my post race snacks but once I did, we were quickly funneled out of Central Park through 72nd Street. The race, just like all the other NYRR races, was extremely organized. While a very expensive 5K (it was $50!), it was worth it to get out there and run fast and enjoy the marathon excitement. I highly recommend this race to anyone looking to enjoy the marathon hype in NYC!