I ran the Bronx 10 Mile last Sunday. Surprisingly, the insanely crowded, hot, and humid day only drove me to run faster. (Sorry for the late recap, as I’ve been busy this week building Ikea furniture and racking up dental bills (from all the teeth gnashing?).)
The morning did not start well. I had mapped out my subway route with the MTA Trip Planner the night before, but as any NYer can tell you, the MTA is not to be trusted. I ended up getting stranded in Times Square about 40 minutes before the start of the race and seriously considered skipping the whole thing. But then I remembered that this race had a medal, and it was a hot day and I didn’t want to run 10 miles on my own, so I bit the bullet and ordered an Uber to Yankee Stadium.
$22 and twenty minutes later, I made it up to the Bronx and discovered I was there almost an hour before I needed to be. See, even though they said the race started at 8:00, they really meant the elites started at 8:00. The rest of the crowd, well, it was a staggered start for the remaining 15,000 runners, which sounds great if it actually controlled the crowds, but the course was insanely congested for the entire 10 miles (and I started at 8:30!).
Are you getting the sense I didn’t enjoy this race? Good, because I didn’t really enjoy this race. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I ran it, because it was good to contend with crowds as part of my marathon training (I can only imagine how congested the NYC Marathon is going to be :() and I’m thrilled with my time, as I used the congestion to fuel my fire. To get away from all the bodies, for the last 5 miles I ran on the edge of the course in the direct sunshine. It wasn’t pleasant, but it was open, and I swear I passed 99% of the runners over the second half of the course (and I actually ran negative splits! very unusual for me!).
My 10th and final mile was the fastest mile I’ve ran since breaking my ankle, so I commemorated it on the back of my medal with NYRR’s free medal engraving service.
The finishing amenities were great – ice soaked towels that were desperately needed, the medal, and pre-made goodie bags with a bottle of water, a bottle of gatorade, two small bags of pretzels, a protein bar, and an apple (some bags varied but most had all of these things). The finishing area, however, was packed, and security guards (?) incorrectly shouted at people that there was no exit at the track & field. I ignored them because that was the exit the year before, and lo and behold, there was an exit (albeit a long walk from the finish line).
Oh yeah, I decided to run in pearls for this race (with a flower clipped to my hat). Only one person commented on it, calling it “classy!”
And to be fair, on-course support was pretty good, too. While the cups were running low when I passed, they hadn’t run out of water or Gatorade yet (and that was available at every water stop, every mile). I’m surprised race officials didn’t make a bigger deal of the hot weather than they did – usually they mention it and encourage the runners to take it slow – but maybe they thought all the congestion would do that for them. ;P
Was the race really so different this year, or did the heat just make me grumpy? Who knows! All I know is I survived this race and will tackle another this weekend, but this weekend I get to wear a proper costume and run with friends, so I already know it’s going to be much better!
Did you run the Bronx 10 Mile or 5K this year? Are you enjoying this late heatwave or are you yearning for fall? Do you like Hawaiian pizza or do you think it’s an abomination? Share in the comments!