First of all, it was 37 degrees when I woke up this morning. Earlier in the week I was wearing shorts. 37 degrees at the end of April in New York is unacceptable, whoever is in charge of that stuff! I arrived at North Woodmere Park about an hour before race start, it was in the mid-forties by then . Packet pickup was painless and indoors where I remained until start time. As the time passed, it got pretty crowded. There were people of all ages, a lot of families.
I headed out to the parking lot at around 9:45, as did everyone else. There were no race officials in sight. Finally, announcements were made. They told walkers and people with strollers to start at the back. As usual, this direction was ignored. They also said that some of the walkers could make shortcuts on the course, as long as they didn't cross the finish line, otherwise the results would be all screwed up. Take a wild guess whether or not the walkers heeded this directive.
The start signal went off probably at 10:10. The race went through the neighborhood streets. I hit Mile 1 at a comfortable 7:04. That's nice! Mile 2 was at 14:21. Oooh, am I going to finish this in 21:xx?! Uh-uh. I could feel myself fading in that last mile. The route finally took us back to the park. There was a a 300 yard(ish) straightaway to the finish line which seemed to last forever. My watch read 22:45 as I approached. I tried to make it under 23, but instead finished at 23:02 (7:25 pace). A PR. Yay! It would have been nice to go sub-23, but I'll take a PR by 40 seconds.
There were plenty of fruit drinks, water bottles, bagels, and chips given out in the finishing area. I heard there were bananas somewhere, but I could not find them. They announced that the awards ceremony would start at 11. Apparently, that meant 11:40. Oddly, there were problems because some of the walkers who took shortcuts did cross the finish line (Sigh). I chatted with a couple of people. One Gilbert Gottfried look-alike told me he used to run 16 minute 5ks when he was younger, but now he's old enough to be my father. He's 42 (I plan on repeating this conversation to anyone who'll listen for the next...year or so). They finally posted the results and I placed first in my age group (47th overall out of 581, top 8th%)! Okay, I'll wait around. The announcer did not give out the age group awards in order. He tried to accommodate too many people (except me) and handed them out to basically whomever asked. I finally got my medal and a nice spectator took my picture. I look surprisingly happy.
Overall, it was a flat and fast course. The people were super friendly, if not disorganized. I recommend this race if you're looking to PR and have more than a few hours to kill.
North Woodmere Park
At the start.
Never ending awards ceremony