This was either my fifth or sixth Manhattan Half and this race is always cold, boring, cold, and hilly. And, yet every year I sign up and run it again. For the past three years Katie and I have run together and complained together over all the hills of Central Park. Why do we keep doing this race? All I can think is that, we have to start somewhere. Come January, the days are cold, dark, and short, and I am in need something to jump start my training. The Manhattan half has been that race each year. I never race it, but it always motivates me to amp up my long runs and set my race goals for the rest of the year.
For the first time in years, we had the unusual sensation of warmth during the race. Last year at the start it was an eyeball-numbing 7 degrees. This year we were treated to a sunny, summer like 30 degrees! Katie didn’t even wear gloves, because she, as you may know, is a beast. The water at the water tables wasn’t even frozen!
Katie watched the movie about Fred Lebow (which she highly recommends) on Saturday night, so I learned a lot about Fred Lebow during the race. Katie really knows how to entertain during a run! Seriously though, Fred Lebow was wicked cool.
My training for this race was rushed (increasing from 7-11 miles over 5 weeks) and included no hills, so it was a slow, sometimes tough half for me. It was fun though, really, and definitely did the trick in motivating me to get my hill and speed work in order to get myself race ready for the rest of 2015.
Race Price: 4 – $35 Super cheap for a half!
Race Organization: 4- The smooth reliable organization is one of the things I like best about New York Road Runner’s races.
Level of Communication: 4 NYRR is also great about letting you know race updates and details.
Race Course: 2- Oh man, I hate this course. Two loops of central park is boring and hilly. It was however, very pretty out today with the snow from yesterday still covering the fields and trees!
Swag: 3- We got some Power Bar gel in our race bags which I really appreciated because I forgot to buy nutrition. It was pomegranate blueberry acai flavor and it was pretty great/ tasted like candy.
T shirt: 2 Instead of t-shirts, the past two years, NYRR has given out bike caps because Fred Lebow always sported them. I like the sentiment but i hate the hats. I would bet if Fred Lebow had run a race at the end of January, he would have worn a warmer hat or a long sleeved tech T. Just saying, NYRR.
Medal: 0 Come on NYRR! Throw us a bone! and by “bone” I mean medal. You can put a bike cap on the medal.
Post Race Swag: 3 Standard post race NYRR fare, but I like it. Bagels, apples, pretzels, gatorade and water.
Spectator Support: 3 The spectators were light to be sure, but there were some out there in the cold keeping us going. The volunteers were also very supportive and vocal which was lovely.
Overall Score: 2.78 Oh man, this race. But I’ll be back next year.