Today was my 18th completion of the New York City Marathon Tune Up 18 mile race. It used to be a 30K (18.6 miles but nobody remembers).
As far a running goes everything went right, that was not luck. I am in shape, physically and mentally. I was properly hydrated and lubricated. I also checked the MTA website for transit diversions. I had a conservative goal of 3:15 and finished in about 3:12. More importantly my last mile felt good and was under 10 minutes.
But luck came for me when I almost tripped on a cell phone some where in the middle of lap 3 of Central Park. I picked it up and held it high in my right hand yelling cellphone and in a moment the owner got it back. Was it luck that I picked it up, maybe.
After the race I found a $20 in the subway. Was that luck or good karma.
I have always loved this race. Because it is not so much a race but it is in fact a tune up, a chance to see if you are ready for the 26.2 mile event in 7 weeks. It is a confirmation or your ability. It might even be considered harder than the New York Marathon. It has 6 serious hills, it is hotter but mostly it is NOT the thing you have been training for. There are no cheering mobs, and nobody is gonna ask you how you did when you go to work the next day.
Today I noticed the course marshals, the people doing their +1 of the 9+1 requirements to have guaranteed entry into the 2011 NYC Marathon. They were all helpful and cheerful, yes. But on my third loop of Central Park some of them looked a little frighted. Next year they were gonna have to run the tune up.
And another thing....
Below is a photo I my friend Al Goldstein. I stole it from rundangerously blog
That is Al Goldstein in the bottom picture giving out the awards. He is a past President of the Prospect Park Track Club and one of the people who was "there with Fred in the beginning". He will turn 91 in December. Many of his joints have been recently replaced.
Now he gives out the awards after NYRR races.
I met him this morning at 6:30 and asked him why he was there so early. He said he had to get there early to find a parking spot.
He said they wont give him a permit to park in the park..... The only compensation he gets for organizing and distributing the awards is two shirts for each race.
LIKE THIS MAN NEEDS MORE T-SHIRTS.
I told him I wold make it my mission to get him a parking permit.
I feel much better now. I will call Al before I email Marry W.