this was my third gateway gobbler, and like a couple other races, it usually takes some time to forget how tough the course is. the cold weather also makes it tough to get out of the house. but yesterday the temperature wasn't too bad - hovering just above freezing (and practically balmy compared to the conditions for the nyack hospital 10k last saturday). in protest to the weather gods, i decided to wear shorts. since it was an 8 0'clock start, i got on the road by 7:15 (and the drive took only 20-25 minutes).
from exit 31 off the merritt, i previewed the last two miles of the course - straight over to the school. the long climb in the last mile (and the sharp incline up the driveway) to the finish brought back the memories of how hilly this 6 miler really was. in my previous 2 efforts here i was unable to break 42 minutes. in one of those races, i finished 5th overall, and in the other, 7th overall. while i'd target 42 minutes - i knew that a sub-7 minute pace would be a stretch.
inside the gym i saw john right off. emmy, coming off the jfk 50 miler last weekend, planned to jog/volunteer - but surprised us by signing up and running it! another surprise was seeing don just after i picked up my stuff. haven't seen don in over a month (since the great train race, actually). all in all it looked like an intimate field of just over 80 runners! tiny in comparison to the 1000's lining up over in southport for the pequot 5 miler!
the first mile was was the only one that could be called "easy" since it was primarily downhill. but that was a decidedly mixed blessing since we'd have to run back up that mile to the finish. that mile gets us over to taconic avenue - and after a short dip, the serious climb up the major hill. then a beautiful stretch across the causeway in mile 3 before we head back to the finish via north avenue. here are my splits:
7:08 pace. i finished 15th overall.
as we went thru the chute we were handed numbered finisher cards - to fill out and hand in back at the gym. our bib tags were posted on the finishers board.
i grabbed my camera from the car and got a shot of emmy finishing and was about to get don finishing when my batteries died - argh! i ran back to the car for fresh ones and got back in time to get some shots of john finishing up. then we headed inside to get warm.
i had to head home and get the turkey in the oven, so couldn't stay for the grab bag. i left my bib with emmy and john - just in case :D
here are my race photos.
next up: volunteering at the bedford turkey trot saturday (w/emmy and john) and running the pete mccardle 15k in van cortlandt park sunday.