This morning was the Joe Kleinerman 10k in Central Park. Joe Kleinerman was a great guy: he founded the New York Road Runners (which is an amazing organization) and helped Fred Lebow (whose statue in Central Park is probably my favorite landmark) found the New York Marathon, and he did amazing things for the world of running in general, such as encouraging women to run and coming up with the idea of age group racing so that 20 year old upstarts and 65 year old veterans weren’t competing against each other to the same degree. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 91. You can read an obituary here. As in all races, I got a shirt, but this one is special. It is printed defectively. There is even a piece that sort of hangs way off–it is supposed to be the lower right corner of the design on the shirt, and instead it is sort of falling off into the white cotton abyss. I guess someone forgot to smooth the wrinkles out when they were printing up this batch! I like it, it gives the shirt character 🙂
Races are a funny thing. On one hand, it is great to be out there with a pack of runners. On the other hand, it is awful to be out there with a pack of runners. I ran the 6.2 miles in 56:36 (that’s an average of 9:07 per mile!) and spent the first mile just trying to thread my way through groups of people who were not running nine-minute miles in spite of their starting in the nine-minute mile pace group. I’m not entirely sure why people do that. As a result, my splits went from 10:00 for the first mile to 8:20 for the last one, when I finally managed to not get sort of stuck behind people who were pacing slower than I was. All things considered, though, I am really happy with my time and my mile splits, and I am not going to walk around thinking or saying, “Yeah, well, I would have been able to run faster if I hadn’t had to weave in and out of a crowd.” I feel like I really accomplished something, and I am proud of myself!