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It’s good to enjoy a race with little at stake now and then. Tonight was such a race. It was the Van Cortlandt Track Club’s annual 2 X 2 relay, consisting of two folks doing 2 miles each.

For this, I enlisted Ari as my partner. He agreed and then asked whether it was cross-country. Indeed it is, I told him, and he got to do his first such race, and said afterward that he’d like to come back.

From Twitter, I knew of a number of others that would be there, and also met some other folks that I know. I finally got to meet Helen, Robert’s better half (which is saying a lot; Robert ran the Leadville Trail Marathon on Saturday and a Firecracker 5K on Sunday in Colorado). Amy C (@runamyrun) was there and she introduced me to a number of others.

It’s pretty basic. The first runner heads out around the flats to the cowpath and up then down Cemetery Hill, with the final 1/2 along the flats. A slap of the hands and the second runner’s off and does the same thing. Ari went first.

It’s just a fun thing. Male, female, co-ed teams. All ages, all sorts of runners. I elected to run in spikes. It’s been warm recently, but today was not nearly like the last few. I planned on playing it by ear, deciding if I would go hard when the race began.

Ari came in. I went out. I hadn’t really warmed up so I felt terrible for the first quarter mile or so. One guy went whizzing past me and I slowly passed a whole bunch of people. I started feeling OK at about the 1/2 mark and pushed it relaxed-but-hard for the balance of the race. From that point on, I actually felt good.

And the point was that this was an enjoyable Thursday night run in the Bronx. Van Cortlandt itself is a real melting-pot kind of place, all sorts of different ethnic groups hanging out, playing games.

As I knew a goodly number of people in the race, it was fun to hang with them, do a short warm-down. Most of them got muffins, the award for VCTC’s races. Ari and I, alas, went home empty-handed.

Two weeks until the next 5K there. A little work between now and then, and we’ll see.

Here’s a recording I made before the race, another of the where-I-run series.

just how good these guys are:

Where I Run: Twin Lakes

Because this is one of my favorite places to run, I figure I’ll put it up. Note that the photo at the top of this site is from a spot in the video. Twin Lakes.

I didn’t plan on posting another one of these so soon, but I found myself on Paine Avenue in New Rochelle (pronounced “ner-rah-shell” (one word) and not “new roe-shell”), which is my prime hill course but which I haven’t run up in ages, so figured I’d post this short thing. (Thomas Paine Cottage, although the actual cottage may be out of sight to the left of the white building.) This is just a few blocks from the Iona College campus and one block from the paralleling Broadview, start of the Paine to Pain half-marathon trail race, which will be on October 4 this year. I was still trying to catch my breath. The hill is steep but not so steep that you have to alter your stride by moving to the forefoot:

For the record, 4 X 1000 with 2:30 jog/walk, 3:26, 3:26, 3:23, 3:28. The blue strips in the photo are the relay-exchange zones.


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