RACE REVIEW: And then there was Queens
The last time I wrote a race review, I spoke about the Brooklyn Half and how it's quite possibly one of my favorite races yet. But I realized that I wasn't exactly giving the other boroughs a fair shot. The NYRR has the 5 Borough Series every year, which if you run all 5, gives you automatic entry to the NYC Half (exact details here). So I decided it was time to add another borough to the mix. After all, there's only so many loops of Central Park you can run before it starts to get old. This weekend I found myself at the Queens 10K.
Running is something my dad and I do together. He's been an avid runner since before I was born. I have fond memories of sitting on my mom's shoulders when I was younger, on the lookout for him at various NYC marathons over the years. I didn't join him on the course until after I graduated from college, moved to the city, and realized how much a gym membership would actually cost. Running outside is free (obviously). Some races are more about the father/daughter bonding, than the actual run itself. This was one of those.
I have to hand it to the NYRR. Their events are among the most organized I've participated in. The sheer amount of people running requires it, and this race was no different. It was relatively easy to get to via the subway, and well marked once we arrived. (Or you could just follow the crowds of people.) And located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the course is surprisingly flat and beautiful. It has what I think people refer to as "urban charm" — read: there are times when you're running under bridges or next to the highway and it smells like pee, but hey this is NY, and aside from that it's actually quite pretty.
I got goosebumps as we ran the circle around the Unisphere, the landmark stainless steel globe, remains from the 1964 World's Fair. It felt like I was running through a slice of history. Especially when my dad said he hadn't been to the park since then. "You were alive for that!?" I responded with raised eyebrows.
And the finish was just as sweet accompanied by some good loot: free Poland Spring Sparkling Water, Power Bar Energy Blends fruit squeezes, and the usual bananas, bagels, and Gatorade. The atmosphere was a little more relaxed than the Brooklyn Half, I think on part because a 10k doesn't feel like as much of an undertaking. But at 67 degrees and 73% humidity, it was the perfect distance indeed.
photos by Amanda Dennelly