The 5th Ave Mile is one of my favorite races. Because it is only a mile. The only race of the year I can finish in under 8 minutes.
I picked up my bib and t-shirt from NYRR headquarters on Friday. The t-shirt was a basic cotton shirt, nothing exciting.
The course is mile down 5th ave. It starts at 80th st by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and finishes at 59th st. The first half of the course has a slight incline but the second half is downhill.
They start the race at 8:45am and there are heats throughout the day. They do age/gender heats first. My favorite part is the watch the 70+ age category. They also have elite heats and a heat for the pros. The final heats of the day are for the kids. They do that so that the pros are waiting for the kids and cheering them on at the finish.
Hema, Donna, and I were all in the women age 30-39 group and our heat started at 9:20 am. I decided to do a lap of the reservoir and jog to the start to get a little warm up in. I met up with Donna in front of the Met. Hema was coming from the subway and managed to make it just in time before our heat started. Our age group was huge. They break up the men into 2 groups 30-34 and 35-39. I really think they should do that with the women as well. We could not all fit in the corral.
It was a bit crowded for the first 1/4 mile. By then the field spread out. They have clocks every 1/4 mile. For this race, the first 1/4 feels like an eternity. The clock read 2:30 when I ran by. I had forgot that I started about 40 sec after the clock started so I thought I was running really slow. I managed to pick up the pace for the second half. When I finished the clock said 8:15. I had run 7:30 2 years ago and was a bit disheartened with the slower pace. My official time ended up being 7:35 min/mile. So about the same pace.
We decided to walk over to Landmarc and have brunch. While at brunch we discussed our plans for futures races. I had already signed up for the New Orleans half and the Little Rock Marathon next year. Hema and her friend Tanya said that they were in for New Orleans. Donna was starting to get an itch for running Little Rock because they had a biggest medal in the country. It is literally the size of your head. She is not about miss out on that.
We had to eat and run. Tanya and Hema were on their way to Yankee Stadium for the game. I wanted to get back to the race to see the 70+ heat.
Don't let their age fool you. These guys are not slow. The winner of the heat was a 75, who ran a 6:31 min mile. The first place women was 77, who beat me by 3 sec with a time of 7:32. There were a few 80+ runners who managed to finish in under 10 minutes.
The oldest runner was 94. He finished in 14:46. I was very impressed.
After the race, I knew I had to get a long training run in at some point that day. My training schedule had me scheduled for 20 miles that weekend. But since I already did about 2 miles with my warm-up and the 5th ave mile, I decided that a 18 mile run would do. I decided to run from my apartment down the east river esplanade and back. I made it down just past the Manhattan bridge then turned around. I did not feel great during my run, but at least I got it in.