Thanks for all the kind wishes about the NYC Half. But we must soldier on. I’ve added “upcoming races” links. Here’s what I’m thinking.

Next Saturday we have the Scotland 10K, a club race. The course finishes at Tavern, so it’s a clockwise loop. I did this last year, in 36:47. I’ll be happy to get under 37. I am encouraged by last week, but don’t know if my legs can hold up to that sort of speed. I like the course though. The 5K is on the second Harlem Hill climb and the course is, I think, slightly down from there, with a final mile that allows for cruising. We’ll see.

On the same day there’s an HM in Queens, chiefly around the old World’s Fair site. It is being put on by the 13.1 Marathon people, which I think is worth a boycott just for the name. It’s part of a nation-wide series, presumably taking hints from the triathlon people who brand their races “70.3.” (If you’re wondering, the race is more expensive than standard NYRR races and on par with the expensive NYC HM.) NYRR is the 800-pound gorilla — and for all my bitching about it at the margins I can’t imagine a better organization given the quality and quantity of its races — but there’s room for other organization to put on races. I’m thinking, though, that the 13.1 people are catering to the arms-in-the-air-crossing-the-finish-line market. (Gratuitous triathlon swipe: can you take a race seriously in which people grab family-members to carry across the finish line?)*

One week later, on Sunday April 11, we have the Scarsdale 15K. (There’s also a 4-miler.) It is the longest-running race in Westchester. It was once one of the biggest races around; I’ve seen results from the early 70s with quite fast times. It’s not so fast now; I won it in 2007 and was second in 2008. Last year’s edition did not go so well, but it is a very nice course, with flat stretches and some short, sharp hills and a finish on the track.

(There is a conflict with another fine race on the 11th. The Van Cortlandt Track Club‘s annual trail 6.3 mile run, the Urban Environmental Challenge, at Van Cortlandt is that morning. It is NYC’s only trail race; it’s on the XC course only briefly and otherwise goes through, in two laps, the woods abutting that course and includes one stream crossing. It is much fun and I’d do it but for Scarsdale.)

After a few down weeks, on May 2 we’re up to the Rye Derby, a 1pm 5-miler which is probably Westchester’s best race. I wrote about it last year, but in the end decided not to do it because of stifling heat. My friends at Taconic Road Runners put the race on, and it’s first class operation.

Then I may do a track mile, at White Plains HS’s new track, at the Loucks Games masters mile. I did this in 2008, and was barely able to break 5. Don’t think that’ll happen ever again.

So there we have a glimpse of coming attractions.

In other news, I did a Warren Street run this morning for the first time in a bit, 1:50. I am tired. Paul led the way, as usual, deciding to experiment with a detour past Columbia and down the path along the Hudson River, from 125 Street. For the northern stretch, you are right by the river (which is not really a river), and we had the benefit of a nice tailwind. I split off because they were going too far and I finished at NYRR, where I picked up my award from the NYC HM. I was hoping it would be special, but it was just the same-old pyrex block. Nice in its way. After stopping, though, I had difficulty running again and largely walked back to my car at 120th Street. Ouch.

During the run, however, Paul spoke of his fear of being girled. For much of the race, he was behind Deena Kastor — you can see it on the broadcast — and he feared being beaten by a woman for the first time. In the event, though, Kastor faded, Paul passed her, and Mara Yamoughi finished a couple of spots back. “Paul,” I warned, “it’ll happen and then you’ll have to get used to it.” He agreed, reluctantly. I pointed out a benefit. As Runningart2004 put in on a LetsRun thread on racing when you’re old, “4 words…Girls In Tight Spandex.” Whoever invented boy-shorts is a god.

*OK, it mocks itself.

    “Where the Party Meets the Pavement” is our tagline and when you come out and run, you’ll understand why. Join the party in the fastest growing half marathon series in the country. You’ll get to enjoy the sights and sounds of America’s top cities through this new and exciting way to race.Guaranteed we’re in a city near you. From NY to Los Angeles. From Minneapolis to Miami Beach. We’re there. Each race will have its own themed style, live music, and food reflecting the best of what each city has to offer.

    Concentrated on the half marathon distance, the 13.1® Marathon celebrates the unique challenge of this endurance event. It isn’t half of anything, so run one of our 13.1 mile races.

    See you at the finish line!

Orwell would be proud: “Concentrated on the half marathon distance, the 13.1® Marathon . . .” I mentioned that the race is at Flushing Meadows Park? Return