Race Review: Prospect Park Track Club Cherry Tree 10 Miler

Prospect Park Track Club Cherry Tree 10 Miler                                                                                                                

Put on by NYC Runs                                                                                                                                                         March 8, 2014, 10am!

Last week, I was reviewing my New Years Resolutions for a quarter year update we’re writing. I saw that one of my resolutions was to run more new races (meaning new to me). I realized I was falling behind, so I went onto NYC Runs and saw this race. I needed to get in 10 miles in prep for the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon next weekend, so I signed up for this race to kill two birds with one stone.

This race was tiny and lovely. There were 457 finishers in the whole race. It started at 10am which was amazing, particularly for those of us who don’t live in Brooklyn.There was a 2.5 hour time limit so it was race-walker friendly, and there is an option to run it as a relay, so anyone  not up for 10 miles can do it with their friends.

The weather was absolutely perfect for a run on Sunday.  I overdressed a little, which wouldn’t have been a problem if I’d brought my SPIbelt to put my phone in so I could tie my jacket around my waste. Good lesson learned.

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Line for the porta-potty

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This is the face I made on the way up The Hill for the third time. Scary, I know.

Another lesson which one should always take to heart is this- if you pass the port-o-johns and there is no line: GO USE THEM!  When I got to the race there was no line, ten minutes later after I’d checked my bag suddenly it was like the start line had formed at the toilets.

For those who don’t know, Prospect Park is only 3.36 miles around on the running path, so 10 miles is three loops of the park, which, to say the least, is not flat. This race, more than anything, takes some mental perseverance, because by the time you’re starting to poop out, you’re hitting The Hill (you know it if you’ve run it)  for the third time.  I had to psych myself up to kick that hill’s butt..and by that I mean, not walk it.

Lesson three from this race: MORE HILL WORKOUTS!!

I would definitely recommend this race to folks for next year. There aren’t a ton of 10 milers out there and it’s a really nice distance. Plus you can’t go wrong with a race that gives you hot cocoa at the finish.

Race Stats:

Race Price: 5 – $25 -$45

Race Organization: 3.5-  This race could use a few more signs to point you toward the start from the entrances of the park for the non-Brooklyn runners. It could have also used some volunteers out on the course, not only directing runners to stay in the rec lane but also instructing pedestrians to stay in the outer lane. I saw some people pushing baby carriages in the running lane and in the bike lane which made me nervous.

Level of Communication: 5 – Not too many emails, not too few. Good job NYC Runs. They also email you your results which is a nice touch.

Race Course: 3.5-  The course is hilly and hard, but that isn’t why I’m marking it down. First, as I said above, it could have used some more course marshals to tell randos to get out of the course. Second, the course isn’t 10 miles. It’s definitely a tad longer. My watch said 10.14. Three loops of Prospect park is 10.05 miles and we ended on center drive, so even if my watch is off, it isn’t off by much. I don’t mind running extra, but we all know runners are obsessive about stats, so I have to mark down the course a little  for being off on millage.IMG_2229

Swag: 3- No real pre-race swag, unless I missed something from picking up on race day, but this was a super small race, so I didn’t expect anything.

T shirt: 4 – We got really cute singlets, which seemed a little aspirational as the park was still covered with snow, but soon SOON, I’ll be rocking this singlet in the sun.

Medal: 3-  A medal is always nice, but for a race this cheap, I wasn’t surprised not to get one.

IMG_2224Post Race Swag: 4 – NYC Runs always has a nice post-race spread. There were bagels and cream cheese, apples, strawberries, AND hot chocolate! I was pigging out like a champ.

Spectator Support: 3 – Not much support for this race, but there was one group of spectators on the top of The Hill who were cheering every time I came by and they were the real champions of this race for me.

Overall Score: 3.78 – I will most likely do this race again.

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