Alley Pond Park, Queens
30 March 2014
27.3 miles completed
I registered for this run knowing I wasn’t trained for it, but I wanted to do it and I kind of felt like I needed it. I had really been struggling to stay motivated following my October DNF and as every long distance runner knows: to get back in your head you need to run long.
Race morning was cool and drizzly–just enough to make everything damp without getting completely soaked. The start/finish was at the Alley Pond Park Tennis Center and luckily there’s a community building there that we could stash our bags in. They stayed dry the whole day and there were lots of bathrooms! Score on both counts!
The start/finish/aid area was pretty windy, which means our awesome volunteers had to spend the day in the chilly wet breeze. (Thank you, volunteers!) But inside the park it was quite pleasant. The course was a 5k loop through Alley Pond Park, which is very hilly. In fact, there is a hill in mile one that I only saw a few people attempt to run. I ran sections of it and that was a successful way to get past it.
The course looped around a couple of different ball fields, a few playgrounds, and the Alley Pond Adventure Course. It was scenic enough to be interesting and it felt about the right distance for the terrain. The last half hour we ran a short loop and it took me a couple of passes to understand how the fractions were marked. Then there was some confusion as to when the race ended. I was running near about a dozen other runners and word came back that the race was over, so we all turned back to go to the nearest marker. Only after we stopped running did we hear the horn. All of use were shorted at least one fraction. <shrug> I honestly wasn’t sure we’d be able to hear the horn from where we were anyway.
Since I finished 27.3 miles, I got a trophy. I was the 16th place female. This was my second 6-hour race and I didn’t run as far as I did the first time, but I was happy to have finished the entire thing. I never stopped moving and that was a real confidence builder for me. I’m not sure I’ll do this race again, just because the location was waaaay out of the way compared to where I live, but I’ll think about it.