Race Report: Poland Springs Marathon Kickoff

Yesterday kicked off the 2012 NYC Marathon Week – 7 days of a total runner geekfest in the city, culminating with the annual running of the ING NYC Marathon on November 4. To celebrate the beginning of Marathon Week, New York Road Runners hold a “kick off” 5 mile race in Central Park – the Poland Springs 5 Miler.

I ran this race as a tune-up event (per reader requests), for the Run for AIR marathon that I’ll be doing on Thanksgiving.

For more information on AIR (or to make a donation!) please visit:


And *wow* imagine my surprise when I saw that I had a 20+ mile run scheduled the exact same day as this glorious 5 mile race! So the question of the day was: 15+ miles before or after the 8:30am race? …or: how strong is your coffee?


Well I figured that since I normally get up at 4:30 on the weekdays anyways why not?! 15+ mile warm-up it was!

The morning of the race my ever-supportive (and super fast runner) husband and I dragged our carcasses out of bed hopped out of bed like two sprightly chipmunks at **4:30 am**, ready to conquer the day!!

Committed and fueled by amazing jet fuel coffee, we set off on our pre-dawn run through the streets and parks of New York City.

And so we ran – from the hipster neighborhoods of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, across the expanse of the Brooklyn Bridge lit only by the glow of the skyline, through the Financial District and on to Riverside Park.

Morning at Riverside Park.

And as day broke we ran through the Park – which stretches nearly the entire length of the west side of Manhattan, along the Hudson River – all the way to 66th Street, where we cut across to Central Park, to the start of the race.

Lining up to the start with nearly 5,000 other runners, I tried to ignore the soreness in my legs and a growling tummy that reminded me I hadn’t eaten in the past 2 hours…and then the horn blared and the race was on.

I honestly don’t remember much about the race – I just tried to keep a steady pace and avoid being passed. What I do remember is thinking -as I do every time I run in Central Park – how amazing it is to live here. And how fortunate I am to be able to do the sports that I love. In short, I was grateful.

And hungry. I remember being hungry.

I think that ironically it was my low blood sugar and hunger that made me run *a little* faster the last few miles. I wanted that iconic bagel provided by NYRR at the end of every race they put on.

I ended up finishing in a time of 38 minutes, averaging roughly 7:40 per mile…not bad considering the significant mileage we had racked up just prior to the race.

And after crossing the finish line I looked down at my watch and saw…that I still had 4 more miles to get in to reach my goal of at least 20 miles.

So I did.

After having a bagel.

Or two.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. – According to my super handy GPS tracker, the total mileage for yesterday was actually 21 miles.


About runforair

Husband and wife team dedicated to raising awareness of conservation efforts through trail running - and occasional cycling - adventures. Interested in supporting global conservation efforts? Check out the website of the award-winning, globally recognized Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR) to learn more and donate today!
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