the nyrr run for haiti had a huge turnout, over 9,400 finisher! that's a outstanding result for an event put together in less than 3 weeks. i remember mary wittenberg's save the date announcement at the manhattan half marathon last month and registration opened up that week. while a fundraiser for haitian relief efforts, the extraordinary turnout was also fueled by the decision to award two nycm qualifying credits to the participants - something i hadn't seen done in the past!
another interesting twist, which led many to treat it as a fun run (it was a bona fide race), was the lack of seeded corrals. the bib numbers were assigned randomly, and we were transported back to the honor system days were a runner lined up according to the pace he expected to maintain. that, in turn, led to a not unexpected bottleneck at the start. emmy and i managed to squeezed in near the 7 minute pace sign. even so, it took me at least a minute and a half to cross the start!
i had no intention of racing it - especially with the albany winter marathon on deck the next day. but i wanted to run a few fast miles and get in a decent run. the first, somewhat congested mile took me 7:31. it actually tougher than that because of the crowd. the course opened up in the second mile and i ran a 6:56, for a two mile split of 14:27. at this point i began to waffle a bit - letting thoughts of the upcoming marathon creep in. that mile took 7:05, and gave me a 3 mile split of 21:33.
the 7:11 pace for 3 miles was faster than i had though i'd run for the race. i thought 29 minutes, an average 7:15 pace, would have been fine. but now i was tempted (especially with the downhill coming up) to push the last mile and try for 28 minutes. my last mile came in at 6:38 and i finished up in 28:11, a 7:03 pace. i was very pleased with that time, and especially pleased with the strong last mile.
i found eliot just up ahead of me and we waited together for emmy to finish. amazingly, we missed her at the finish line, but soon found her at baggage check. the three of us would regroup the next morning in albany to run the marathon. all in all, it was great day - and numbers 2 & 3 on my road to 9 + 1 for the 2011 nyc marathon :D
here are some race photos.