Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 ted corbitt "run around manhattan" 50k: race report

the 2011 edition of the ted corbitt memorial run around manhattan was postponed from the last weekend in january because snow covered most of the route. when we ran it on the rescheduled date, last saturday (2/12), snow still covered most of the west side route - so the regular course was slightly altered - instead of the hudson river greenway, we ran north, from our start on 97th street, on riverside drive. our intrepid group of 20+ runners had much warmer weather than the 2010 edition, but we'd be in for a few more detours (some unplanned) as we circumnavigated the borough.

little did we know that first detour would happen upon us before we reached the first planned stop, regrouping point, the twin donuts shop at 217th street. originally, we arrive at twin donuts via inwood park, then south past columbia's butler field. this year we ran north on riverside drive - and eventually found ourselves climbing up to the cloisters! while grant's tomb and the armory were highlights from this leg, the cloisters were a decidedly unplanned visit! no worse for the climb, we reached twin donuts in 1:24 (roughly 8 miles).

thanks to our great mobile aid station - a kick scooter manned by alex - i had some berry tea w/lemon to rehydrate and get warm. in a decision that i'd rue a few hours later, i didn't carry a water bottle with me. i did have a fanny pack; and took along a couple of gu's, mittens (which came in handy when the wind picked up), and my camera. if it wasn't for alex and his various thermos bottles full of tea, hot chocolate, and water - dehydration would have claimed me by the half way point!

we lingered at twin donuts for almost 14 minutes - which, as it turned out, was the shortest of our 3 planned stops! as we headed south, the second major detour (unplanned) occurred as we found ourselves on a decidedly icy (and windy) harlem river drive (instead of climbing fort george hill). we eventually returned to the main route at 155th street and st. nicholas place. given to poor road conditions we ran on along the water, climbing the hill would have been a much nicer alternative!

aside from the divergent path we took, the highlight of this leg is covering a portion of the nyc marathon route. we joined the official course on the west side of marcus garvey park and follow the route down fifth avenue until we veered off at 86th street. our next planned stop was at bob's bagel shop on york avenue and 86th street. it took 1:37 to reach the bagel shop - and we had covered roughly 15.5 (according to alex, our semi-official human gps). we lingered there for almost 19 minutes!

from this point we had a "planned" detour because of the icy conditions along the east river. instead, we headed south on york avenue until the united nations. just south of the u.n. we turned east to the f.d.r. drive and continued south under the highway. this stretch, except for the views of the manhattan and brooklyn bridges, was relatively tame - until we approached south ferry. at that point the winds had picked up to gail force strength! they were so powerful that just walking forward was a challenge!

thankfully, we only dealt with those winds for less than a quarter mile before we could warm up inside the ferry terminal. it took us 1:20 to cover the 8+ miles down to south ferry. from this point back to the start at dave's apartment, we had 8 miles left to cover. we had mixed reports for the total distance (between 32-33 miles) at the finish - so we could have been at either mile 23 or 24 by the time we left south ferry. our stay here was easily the longest of the 3 stops - clocking in at 23 minutes!

the remaining 8 miles went by quickly. i ran this leg with phil and mat - and we just powered up the west side highway with any stops. i did have a brief pang of remorse as we ran past chelsea brewing company - which was open by that time :D my decision to skip the water bottle was felt just a couple of mile from the finish. when i tried a non-working water fountain, i quickly realized i was parched (my last drink was a small cup of tea at south ferry). luckily, mat shared some of his camel back with me! it took the three of us 1:16 to cover the last leg - easily the fastest stretch of the course.

of the 6:35 it took to complete the loop of manhattan, roughly 55 minutes was spent at the 3 planned stops. even with the stops included, the 6:35 was 20 minutes faster than the 6:55 i took to complete the loop last year! regardless of the time, this was a fantastic event! most of the 2010 participants returned for the 2011 edition - and i will definitely be back to run it again in 2012 (it's that much fun)! many thanks to dave for organizing the run - and once again keeping ted corbitt's memory alive!

here are the race photos.
here is my 2010 race report.

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