The NYRR Gridiron 4 Miler and Longest Football Throw was this morning – it’s a good way to motivate yourself to run 4 miles in the cold before stuffing your face with chips and pizza and wings later. I can’t remember the last time I ran this particular race (if ever), so it was fun to see all the runners in their football jerseys and team colors. Are the Giants in the Superbowl this year? Because it looked like it out there… (And fyi, I think I saw more Broncos jerseys than I did Jets, despite the NY location…)
Before the start of the race they announced the winners of the football throw (held one hour before the race). The woman threw over 30 yards and the man threw over 50 yards. That sounds like a lot to me, as I’m pretty sure I’d have trouble throwing a frisbee more than 5 yards. Good for them!
The course itself is the inner 4-mile loop in Central Park, skipping the Harlem Hills and the lower portion of the loop. I started in my proper corral (K, the last corral), but not at the very back, and it still took me about 9 minutes to cross the starting line. The bad thing about short NYRR races like this is that it was really crowded the entire time (there were over 5,000 finishers). I ran my heart out but was still quite slow compared to actual fast people (averaged about 10:15 pace), yet I swear I passed over a thousand people. It was a little frustrating to weave in and out so much, but if I wanted to run on an empty road I wouldn’t do a NYRR race.
There’s also a fun spot along the 72nd Transverse where you can “vote” for your team by running under their banner. It seemed like a surprisingly even split amongst the runners, but I’m not sure if people were voting for their favorite team, the team they thought would win, or if they simply didn’t care and didn’t change lanes while running. NYRR reports that a majority of the runners chose Denver, because runners respect their elders.
There were a few water stops along the course and at the finish you got more cups of water, a large bagel (plain or cinnamon raisin), and a red delicious apple. The shirt is a white (ugh!) cotton long-sleeved shirt with a logo on the front and sponsors on the back. Overall, this is a fine race, nothing special, but good if you’re looking to do a 9+1 to qualify for the marathon, and it was 100% effective in getting me to run outside today, which I definitely would not have done on my own.
Who are you rooting for in the Superbowl today? What are you planning to eat? Do you enjoy the commercials more than the game? Share in the comments!