Despite it being 1000% percent humidity (not a typo), this morning my friends and I had a great time at the NYRR 1 for You 1 for Youth 4 miler in Central Park. I originally signed up for this race because instead of a race shirt you got a free* pair of shoes! Despite it being a smaller race (for NYRR – only about 1900 runners instead of 5000+), I was able to run with 3 of my friends – two who I knew were going to be there, and one that I found along the way!
But first, the shoes. Every entrant got a pair of shoes, and for each entrant one pair was donated to a child in the NYRR youth program. That’s a lot of shoes! When you first signed up, you had to indicate your preference between two different pairs of New Balance shoes – the Fresh Foam Zante v3 (neutral, men’s here ($64-$129) and women’s here, $80-$105) and the 860v7 (stability, men’s here ($112-$178) and women’s here, $110-$190). I chose the Zante because… well, it was cuter, and I knew I probably wouldn’t run in either pair since you can pry the Hokas off my cold, dead feet.
I think they are nice-looking shoes, but they feel like… nothing – no arch support and very little cushion. After trying them on I described them as “cardboard.” Hopefully when I actually wear them more I’ll like them, but I’ll stick to (very) short walks in them first.
When you picked up your shoes you also got to measure your foot on this high-tech machine that worked no better than a standard brannock device, but it still was a nice reminder we’re living in a pointlessly high-tech future.
When my friend picked up her shoes, they didn’t have anymore Zantes so she got the 860s, but luckily they still had some in her size (which was incorrectly measured by the fancy machine). She also said they had good arch support, so maybe she was spared the pain of the cardboard Zantes.
Have I mentioned the new NYRR digs yet? Last (?) year they moved from an Upper East Side brownstone to a temporary location on the Upper West Side, but now they’re in their new permanent location in midtown west. It’s big and nice, but part of me misses that old brownstone charm.
On race morning I texted my two friends who were running the race and we met up in the corrals. I was already sweating like a pig from my warm up mile that I ran at a blistering 12-minute-per-mile pace. Pretty sure I frightened them.
Because it was a relatively small race, the corrals were close together and we crossed the start in only about three minutes. I wasn’t running with my friends because they’re both much faster than me, so I lost them in the crowd almost instantly. A little less than a mile from the start, however, I saw a very familiar back ahead of me. After I checked to see if he was wearing minimalist shoes, I felt bold enough to try calling out his name (and steeling myself for the possibility it wasn’t him and I was just going to be some jackass screaming a name out in the middle of a race). But it was him! I have friends!
I spent the next three miles running as fast as I could while pretending it was no big deal, and chatting about this and that with my running friend who I hadn’t seen in ages. I felt bad because he’s training for Berlin (he ran 8 miles today, no big deal) and he’s much, much faster than me, and I didn’t want to ruin his race, but he stuck with me until the end (which was really good because I felt like I might die at the end – there was only water and pollen in the air at this point – no oxygen – which made breathing difficult).
But after sitting in the shade for a while, we all recovered and had a huge brunch/lunch at Fred’s. It was an amazing morning and a super nice way to (1) get some shoes, (2) get some exercise and (3) eat a bacon club sandwich and then buy ice cream on the way home.
Do you wear New Balance shoes? Have you ever run a race with friends? Do you watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? Share in the comments!