A rainy view of the Hudson River and New Jersey before the race.
Yesterday I ran two 10Ks in the rain, and yes, my legs are still tired. The first race was the Scotland 10K in Central Park, which I started a little after 8 am, finished at 9:20, and got home from at 9:30. After a quick shower, a change into different, more rainproof gear, and several mouthfuls of essential chocolate, I was in a taxi down to Chelsea Piers by 10:30 for the 11 am start of Run & Chug’s inaugural 10K.
Run & Chug (aka NYC Fun Run) is a fun running group with branches all over the US. They meet every Wednesday at 7 pm at different bars around the city to run (usually 3-5 miles, but you can always turn around early or just skip it entirely), and then drink and socialize. Often they make a deal with the bar to get drink specials (and they usually have a place to store bags while you run). It’s good motivation to get out there on any given Wednesday, especially in the winter (but I still don’t go nearly enough… maybe if it were called “Run & Chocolate”?).
When I saw they were doing their first race series with a 10K, medal, and free pint glass, I was in! I knew it was the same day as the NYRR Scotland Run, but I decided to sign up anyway, since I had never tried doing two different races in the same day before, and because I thought that even at my slow pace I’d have enough time to get from Central Park to the West Side Highway before the 11 am start. And I did!
Originally I thought I’d hang out after the Scotland run, eating my bagel, entering the raffle, and checking out the bagpipers, then head directly to the second race, but because I was thoroughly soaked and cold, I hustled back to my apartment to change into dry clothes. Once I was warm and dry, I had no desire to go outside again, but I did, because I paid money for the
swag experience, dammit.
When I got to Pier 62 (right behind the northern end of Chelsea Piers), there were already quite a few other Run Chuggers patiently waiting under the awning of a carousel that I didn’t know existed out there. It took me a minute to realize that packet pickup was actually out on the exposed walkway, where the poor volunteers were getting drenched as they passed out bibs and pint glasses. I got my bib and hustled back under the carousel to wait for the start.
You know what other animal stands around in the rain? Yeah, that’s right.
It wasn’t long before the race started. There were four waves, each 2 minutes apart, so the course was never congested (aside from the area around the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise which required some artful dodging of tourists and tour buses).
Maybe because I was tired from the first race, or distracted by thoughts of what I could eat when this was all over, or because I was chatting with another runner about her race dots and if she liked them, but I missed my wave start. Bye bye wave 2! Guess I’m wave 3 now!
Taking a picture of my wave, not realizing it was my wave. Oops!
The course started at Pier 62 (about 22nd Street), went up almost to the Intrepid (about 44th Street), then looped back down again. You ran the loop twice for 6.2 miles, so you passed every spot 4 times. There were also volunteers standing at key intersections to direct you where to go, and chalk arrows that were surprisingly resilient in the rain. The run wasn’t that bad, since the rain stopped after a few miles, the wind off the river wasn’t as bad as I had feared, and the course was flat. It was also nice to see all the same runners again and again as you passed each other. It was a small community race!
Much of the course was along the river.
I actually finished a little faster than my Scotland run, I think because it was totally flat compared to Central Park and because I was so excited to be finished for the day, but even with my blistering speed of 1 hour 7 minutes I was still one of the slower people to finish. After the race I remember thinking, “if I were my friend Ben, I would just run home now.” But I am not Ben, and I was tired and hungry, so I got my bag, changed in the Chelsea Piers bathroom, and hopped into a cab to Billymark’s where my free beer (and post-race party) was waiting. Unfortunately it turned out that there was no food at Billymark’s, so I went next door (to a Chinese restaurant I just learned is called “Aaron’s“) and in mere minutes got an order of piping hot and delicious sautéed string beans and white rice.
When I walked into Billymark’s it was crowded and noisy and didn’t have a place for me to eat my meal, so I wistfully gave my beer tickets away and hopped back into a cab to go home. I was tired, a little cold, but mostly I was STARVING. It was about 1 pm at this point, and I was DONE. I even ate before I showered, shoveling sauce-covered beans into my mouth like a lunatic.
Overall, I think the first Run & Chug race was a success! For $30 ($40 if you registered later) you got a medal, a pint glass, and a free beer (if you were willing to wait and/or eat something outside first, which I was not).
The pint glass with a map of the course underneath.
As for two races in one day, it was ok! It was definitely exhausting, and it took more out of me than I expected, but if it hadn’t been for the rain I think it would have been a lot more manageable. I also should have packed snacks in my bag, but I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly (and I always pack snacks!). I’d consider doing two races in a day again, but I hope next time it’s in the summer, and instead of complaining about the rain and cold I can complain about the heat and how my chocolate melted.
How was your weekend? Do you want beer or food more after a run? What’s your favorite Chinese food order? Share in the comments!