Soooo, this is a very long overdue update. On New Years Eve I ran in the NYRR Midnight Run. Yep, you heard me right. That’s a race…. in NYC… that starts at midnight. Epicness!
My friends from Running Club (Rachel, Isabella, and her friend Kirsten) met up in the afternoon in NYC. We had planned to do a little bit of sightseeing, but the weather kept us from doing much. Instead we just ended up migrating from Starbucks to Dunkin Donuts to the next Starbucks to have a warm place to stay and sit down. I’m pretty sure I walked about 4 miles before the race even started.
When we got to Central Park things started looking up. There was a dance party near the start put on by the race and within about a minute of joining in we were warm again. I’ve definitely not done anything like that before a race!
This race definitely made me appreciate having a support person. I just did it with my friends, so I didn’t have anyone to hold my belongings and had to use the bag check. Everything went smoothly with that, but because it was so cold it meant that for the 20 minutes before the race I had to constantly move around to just keep myself from shivering. It’s definitely a luxury having someone there to help out.
Granted, it was a relief when the gun went off at the start of the race. We were welcomed to the New Year with a beautiful fireworks display!
The course was really fun as it went all through Central Park. I didn’t expect it to be quite as hilly as it was. The course wasn’t super hilly, but definitely had some good rollers. I spent most of the race trying to find the shortest route, as the roads were a bit windy. I entertained myself with the traffic lights. All throughout the race the traffic lights on the course were changing. Each time they turned green I tried to pick up my pace! There was also this guy running near me whose watch kept talking to him. I don’t mind the occasional beep alert for a mile marker (I have that for longer races), but his watch went off about every half mile and told him his average pace and cadence. Please don’t do that in a race. Not everyone around you wants to hear your details. I probably should’ve studied the course more, but I greatly appreciated the last mile. It was basically all downhill and felt really nice to finish fast.
My finishing time was 27:25. I’ve never run a 4-miler before so I’m not really sure how to feel about it. Guess it’s a PR, though! My general feelings from the race are that I ran all right – not bad not good, but somewhere in between. I wasn’t taking the race all that seriously, but still wanted to give it a good effort. The circumstances definitely weren’t perfect. After all, we were racing at midnight and my internal clock was all messed up as I had been awake since 7:00 that day to drive to New York. The nature of the event makes it difficult to have a great race. Our bodies aren’t meant to race at 12:00am.
That’s not to say you can’t have a good race there! There are definitely some things I would do differently if I run this race again. First of all, I would arrive a lot closer to midnight to avoid chilling at coffee places to try and stay warm. Secondly, I would bring LOTS of warm clothing. After the race, I changed my base layers and had on about three tops (including my winter coat), spandex tights, and hat/gloves, but I was still freezing. After a hard effort like that you get sweaty, which makes you chilly minutes after finishing. I would bring even more warm clothes to keep warm for afterwards.
Thoughts on the Race
I think NYRR put on a really great race. The course was well marked/directed and the volunteers were very friendly. I got some cool goodies from the race including a comfy shirt. They were giving out glasses and armbands as well, but I didn’t want to wait in line and get cold at the start. The cost was on the pricey side: I can’t remember exactly, but around $50-60. I definitely wouldn’t pay that much for most races (especially just a 4-miler), but the race had some special features that most races don’t have like fireworks and a dance party. One thing I wish the race did have was proper results. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe they only had results for the top 10 men and women. Maybe the results are hiding, but I haven’t found the results for everyone. I do wish I could get a proper time from them. Luckily, I did use my watch so I know my time, but it would be nice to know how I stacked up against my competitors.
The biggest thing I would compliment the race on? PORTA POTTIES! This probably sounds ridiculous to any non-runners, but having a place to go to the bathroom before racing is absolutely essential. Huge lines and not having enough porta potties are a common problem at races and can be a big stressor for runners. NYRR did a fantastic job and there were plenty of porta potties. Even a half hour before hand when things are normally crazy, I was able to get in within five minutes. Bravo!
Overall, I had a fantastic time! It is definitely my most memorable New Years. Thanks Rachel for hosting me! Sorry I slept in for so long the next day, haha. I would definitely like to do this race again (with a few changes). I think I might even be able to convince some of my family into running it with me next year. Watch out guys! 😉
Did you run in any New Years races? Anyone else do the NYRR midnight runs? How’s your 2015 going so far?