For the second year in a row all three JKR ladies ran the NYRR Queens 10K. The race is part of NYRR’s five borough series, comprised of the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half, the NYC Half, the Brooklyn Half, the Queens 10k, the Bronx 10 miler, and the Staten Island Half. Back when I (Sirrah) started running, all the borough races were half marathons. I did the Queens half twice, and I personally was glad when they changed the distance because the Queens race always seems to fall on the hottest muggiest day of the year. This year was no exception.
While the heat and humidity were a huge challenge during the race, the real challenge this year was just getting there. First, due to predictions of thunder storms until about 8am, NYRR pushed the race start back to 9 (and we’re kind enough to notify runners with a call, an email, and a series of 5 text messages). Unfortunately, this caused most non-driving runners to be headed in toward Flushing between 8 and 8:30 right when the 7 train stopped working altogether.
Around 8:15, Nicole and Katie drove in from Jersey and were parking by the race at the same time Sirrah was learning the Flushing bound 7 trains were not running. What followed in the next 45 minutes for Sirrah and her friends in Queebsboro plaza was: running down then up then back down the subway stairs as we decided to call a car, saw a 7 pull in and dashed for it, found out after 15 more minutes of waiting that the 7 still wasn’t running, went back down and searched for a street to hail a cab from that didn’t have 50 other stranded runners doing the same thing (sorry runners for up streaming y’all; it was kill or be killed out there). We made it as close as the cabs could drive to the race start and scurried to the start. At that point it was 9:30 and Katie and Nicole had already been running for 30 minutes. When I started it wasn’t even clear where the start line was. People just shouted at me to start running a to veer right to avoid the finishers. Yes, there were people finishing as I started.
In all of this chaos, the NYRR handled things really well: keeping communication open through Twitter, allowing folks to start way after to start would normally be closed, and keeping volunteers out supporting runners with water and cheers longer, I’m sure, than their expected shifts. We tweeted at NYRR about the 7 train fiasco and got a reply right back assuring us that the start would stay open until at least 9:25. Even though I didn’t see a start line, they clearly kept the sensor on even later than that, because I didn’t start till 9:33 and I received a chip time. So while we want to say, “MTA , you are literally the worst. ” We also have to say “thanks, NYRR for doing a great job.”
The race itself is one of the hottest and most humid I (Katie) has ever run. It had rained the day before, but not enough to break the low hanging thick air. Almost every runner was feeling the humidity and I’ve never seen that many people walking in a 10k. I’m included in this, as I starting walking around mile 3. While part of me was upset, my race plan going into this race was just to finish.Our Tri training schedule had been rearranged and our 2 hour brick (20 mi bike and 4mi run) had been the Saturday before the race. My legs were not spry at all. The NYRR had a sprinkler set up along the course to help cool down runners which was greatly appreciated and most of the water I took from the fluid stations was dumped on my head to cool me down.
I (Nicole) also overheated and was short of breathe due to the thickness of the air. My face was bright red and pulsating and to top it all off, my right shin started hurting after mile 1. I have never been happier to frolic through a sprinkler. I was lucky to have the company of my boyfriend since I walked the majority of the race, making it my slowest 10k ever, but, it is important to listen to your body when running in extreme weather conditions. You won’t PR in every race!
Price: 4- $29-$54 depending on if you were a NYRR member and when you registered. Not a bad price for a race with a shirt and a medal.
Organization: 5- Props to NYRR for their ability to take the information coming in from all us crazy runners about the train situation and adapting the race. The runners were determined to run this hot sticky 10k and thanks to NYRR’s organization most of made it to the start line and even got timed.
Level of Communication: 5- haha, five texts, a call, and an email- yeah they are on top of communication.
Course: 3.5- I don’t love this course, but I think that is mostly because the race is ALWAYS hot and the course has very little cover. There is also the fact that part of the course seems to be in a marsh and it is common for there to be large puddles on the course. However, it is cool to run in such an iconic area of NYC. Running by the Unisphere with the fountain is going is pretty high up there in cool New York experiences.
Swag: n/a – We don’t expect swag at a 10K. However, there were actually food trucks at the finish this year so it looked like people who wanted to hang in the park had some good refueling options.
T-Shirt: 4- I love a summer race that gives a tank top. I have one million t-shirts, so getting something different that I’ll actually want to wear in the heat is great. We’re docking a point from what would otherwise be a 100% super shirt because they ran so small, it was hard for some folks to find one that actually fit. NYRR has had the problem before so I think it must be their manufacturer runs small.
Medal: 5- love the borough specific medals! It’s a little ironic that the 7 train is featured on this years medal considering it had nothing to do with getting runners to the race this year.
Spectator Support: 3.5- This race isn’t the easiest for spectators to get to (particularly this year), but there were some. The volunteers did a great job cheering despite the heat and the extended length of the race.
Overall Score: 4.29!