i'm not sure if running the stratford ymca sweetheart 4 miler was the smartest thing as i recovered from a chest cold (which, strangely, overtook me on the heels of the rain soaked boston build-up 20k last weekend). i had only run 12 miles in the 5 days preceding the race (and would log, after the freezer 5 miler on sunday) a record low (in recent memory) of just 21 miles for the week! wise or not, this race is a lot of fun.
it would be the 3rd time emmy and i teamed up for this race. in 2006, our combined time of 52:27 missed overall first place only 7 seconds! but a repeat of my 25:42 from 2006 was very unlikely. more realistic, this year, was a sub-28 minute target (a target, by the way, more than a minute slower than my two most recent 4 milers).
one great thing about this race is the number of familiar faces. don volunteers at this one every year - and he was the first person i spotted, as he worked at registration. but the biggest surprise was seeing my good friend (and former wtc teammate) sal just outside the field house. sal runs practically every nyrr race on the calendar - but rarely ventures into connecticut. not only did sal make the trip from nyc, but so too did chris (cptc). sadly, he was without his wife (and running partner) bea - who is recovering from a stress fracture.
among the local runners were kate (who teamed up with brian for the race), rob, marty, and sherry - just to name a few. in fact, despite the cold temperature, the organizers announced they had a record turnout for the race. if they are anything like me, the knew there would be plenty of great post-race food to come back to (including minestrone soup). there was just the matter of a hilly course to dispense with first.
despite the short distance, this is one of the toughest 4 milers out there. that's mainly a result of the monster hill that kicks off the 4th mile. it's mentally tough to go all out for the first 2-3 miles and know that climb awaits in the last mile. but, on the other hand, it's only 4 miles and will be over soon enough ;)
here are my race splits:
sadly, i didn't keep it together for the last mile (and walked a good chunk of the hill). not only did i miss a sub-28, but it was almost a full minute slower than my 2007 finish (27:12) on this course. emmy came in just behind me and gave me some grief for walking the hill (she was kidding).
amazingly, emmy and i not only won our age group in the team competition, but our combined 56:19 put us in second place overall. that was ironic because in 2007, with a better combined time, we finished fourth overall in the team competition. as for individual results, chris took 3rd place overall! emmy was the second woman finisher, and won her age group. brian and kate not only took individual age group awards, but also took 3rd in their age group for the team competition! a lot of hardware collected that morning :D
check out my race photos.
check out emmy's race report and pictures.
check out kate's race report and pictures.
next up: the taconic road runners freezer 5 miler.