New York Road Runners (NYRR) started doing the Giant Stadium Run of Champions 5k in April 2012. I decided it would be a great race to get my family to do since they live in NJ not far from the stadium. My sister-in-law has done a few 5ks with me. My mom has been trying to get into running and she likes to do a run/walk for a 5K. My niece was 8 at the time. A few weeks before the race, my brother was bragging about the fact that she demolished the competition at her school field day in both the 100 yard and 50 yard dash. Seeing how NYRR does kid races, I figured we should bring her along.
I registered everyone online via the NYRR website www.NYRR.org. I got to the stadium early and picked-up our bibs and t-shirts because I know that my niece would want to sleep in. My mom and sister-in-law managed to drag her out of bed and get to the race right before the start. They have a health expo set up outside the stadium. There were a few former Giants running the race, and they were happy to take pictures with people before the race started.
My dad came and waited with my niece while the 3 of us ran the 5k. The race starts in the parking lot of the stadium. It loops around back into the field with the finish being a 100 dash down into the end zone. There were definitely a lot of people enjoying getting to sprint into the end zone. They have video cameras set up so you could see yourself up on the big screens in the stadium as you ran to the finish line.
I finished in 28:32, Diane finished in 33:00 and my mom finished in 49:21.
My niece was getting a little cranky while she was waiting. The stands were hot and apparently they had to keep moving in order to stay in the shade. My brother called because my nephew had left his baseball gear in my sister-in-law's car and he needed it for his game that day. Diane had to run home to give him his equipment. While we were waiting for her to get back, I bought my niece some ice cream. Ice cream at 10 am for an 8 year old very nutritious, right. But hey it perked her right up. They headed on to the field to take some pictures. They have locker room tours. We walked over to do the locker room tour but the line was a mile long. Kristine's race was going to start in about 15 min and we were worried she might miss the race if we waited in line. So we decided to wait until after the race to do the tour. Diane made it back in time before the kids races started.
The kids races were run on the field. They separated the kids into age/gender groups from 2-12 years old. To drop off and pick up a child, you had to have a tag that match their bib number. I guess they wanted to make sure no one tried to steal someone else's kid. The kids ran various distances depending on their age. It was so cute to watch the 2-3 years old who only "ran" about 20 yards. To be honest, most of them were kind of dragged down the field by their parents.
Kristine was in the 7-9 year old girl category. They lined up at around the 70 yard line. She was really funny because she had her game face on and she was definitely jockeying for position on the starting line.
It is a bit grainy but that is her up on the big screen leading the pack.
Kristine took off and lead from the start. She easily coasted across the finish line in first place. The next girl was about 5 yard behind her and the rest of the pack was about 10-15 yards behind her.
All the kids got a ribbon at the finish.
After her victory, we went back to do the stadium tour. It was definitely the right decision. There was no line left and the locker room was practically empty. We got to take our time and get some pictures.
It is funny my family are 49er fans, but my sister-in-law's side of the family are Giants fans. It is running joke about which side the kids will end up on. So far my niece leans Giants, but my nephew is a diehard 49er fan. Kristine did mention that her cousins would be really jealous when they heard she got to go into the locker room.
While in the locker room, I ran into a friend from dental school. She was there with her family. Her husband runs a lot of NYRR races and they had brought their 2 kids to do the kid's races.
Me "running out onto the field before the big game" from the locker room.
It definitely was a fun to get my family involved.
We had all planned to do the race again in 2013. But my mom was not feeling well and had to sit out. Kristine again is not a morning person. She was supposed to run the 5k this year but was too tired. This year they did not have ice cream and locker room tour was old news so Kristine was not a happy camper. The 5k is at 9 am and the kids races don't start until 11am. The wait was a bit too long this year, so we left without Kristine running at all. Sadly, I don't think this race won't end up becoming an annual family tradition.
Pre-race info- A
Overall organization- A+
Swag/post-race food- B
Surrounding area- N/A