Well, I may be a runner, but I am still a wimp when it comes to the cold. I completely was oblivious to the freezing temps they were calling for ball drop time in the New York tri-state area – BRRRR.
But for the past 10 years my life saying as been “I will try almost anything at least once” and this definitely falls in to that category.
In the past the only NYE Midnight run I knew about was the NYRR Midnight Run in Central Park. However, I try to avoid NYC as much as I can on NYE – I live there, I don’t need the additional crazies around. Last year I heard about this NYE Dash in Eisenhower Park (about 25 minutes from me) but as I already had Billy Joel tickets, I told myself I would run it the following year. So that is just what I did – I ran my first nighttime, winter race!
My friend and I went back and forth on how early was to early to show up, but we decided around 11 was just right. I opted for a relaxing epsom salt bath around 7pm that night to relax my already slightly tight muscles, knowing the cold weather would just make them more tight and tense. From there it was time to decide just how many layers would be just right.
I pulled out my pro compression leggings as they were slightly heavier in fabric then my under armour leggings. I also found an old pair of knee high socks (they were part of a halloween costumes, but were of a slight wool type fabric) so I paired them over my normal running ankle socks to help keep the toes toasty.
Once my legs and feet were satisfied they wouldn’t freeze, its as time to sort out my top half. I ended up with my normal layering: Under Amour long sleeved tech shirt with my super girl shirt over it.
I left the house with my gloves, head warmer, iPod, watch, phone in my hands. In addition, I through another jacket and a vest in the car with me incase it was even colder at the park then by me (which would be rare). I felt confident I would be ok from the cold.
We checked in, got our bibs along with some glow necklaces and New Years crowns! They had some big screens around showing the live broadcast of Rockin’ New Year’s on ABC in the ice skating rink, where the after party would also be held.
The race directors called all runners out to the start line at 11:45 to get us set up. There was another screen out there to show the ball drop.
The start line was right outside the Twin Ice Rink in Eisenhower Park. As this was a double loop race, this was also the finish line.
They lined us up according to anticipated per minute mile so of course, we were towards the back of the pack.
As the countdown started for the ball drop, I did some jogging in place, some butt kicks, anything to stay warm as I was starting to get cold from standing around in 27* temps!
As the ball dropped, we crossed the start line for our double loop 5K, my first race of 2015!
The first .1 of the run was on a slightly incline towards the bike path. We ran around the mini-golf/batting cage area of the park, along part of the running path, through part of one of the parking lots, back to a part of the running path by the baseball fields, back around for our second loop to do it again.
The race directors did a fairly good job of keeping the path lit with high-powered light towers along the route in addition to the street lamps for in the parking lot areas. There was one area at a turn around point where the light didn’t quite reach the other side so someone place two glow sticks next to the curb so no one tripped over the island.
At one point one of the light towers went out leaving us a bit in the dark also, but it was a rather straight away area. The downside to that was the path was a bit bumpy leaving me with a fear of tripping – as I do tend toward the clumsy side of things.
All in all, the race was good, it was fun! I am not a fan of double loop races as my boredom sets in sometimes, but as this was a 5K, i didn’t have that much of a problem with it.
After we all finished we went back up stairs to the after party. Outside the party room was a table with our medals (yay for 5K medals!). As we went in side, I bee lined for the table to take off my jacket, gloves and head warmer so I could start to regulate my temperature again.
As I walked past the food tables, I realized that they didn’t portion correctly as the only thing left was some lettuce, bread and a bit of pasta – no veggies, not burgers. Plenty of desserts were left over, so my post race fuel was an oreo brownie! Not exactly the best plane, but at 1:00am on New Years Day, I figured I would be forgiven for my transgression.
I would definitely consider doing this run again next year! Starting the New Year off with a race helps keep me going for the training, keeps the motivation moving and makes me feel like a true runner!