I was surprised to see there was actually a separate corral at the start for elite runners. Once everyone lined up, I had to check out who was in the corral, about 6 skinny guys who looked like they were teenagers.
Pete, Freighbor, and I positioned ourselves in the 7 minute mile pace area. It was crowded, but not as bad as I expected. People were civilized. There was no unnecessary shoving. I decided to run with music in this race because toward the end of my last race, I was desperate for some motivation. A recording of the national anthem was played over the loudspeaker and then we all did our shuffle to the starting mat. We were off.
Immediately, we ran up a slight incline in the first mile, around Adelphi University. I hit Mile One at 7:24. I was feeling pretty good, despite the cold. My watch read 14:33 at Mile Two. Things were looking good...until they didn't. My breathing became more labored. The icy wind around certain corners was challenging, to say the least. I arrived at Mile Three at 22:xx. I felt myself slowing down, slowly but surely. The cold never relented. I passed some friends at a couple of spots who were nice enough to cheer me on. I noticed a young boy about 8 years old running alongside me. I found this more annoying than cute. My pathetic ego could not let this child beat me. Seriously?! Yes. There was an older man running next to him coaxing him along. That was a good sign. For me. I finally passed him, but it didn't make me feel any better.
I came down the home stretch at 37 minutes. I knew I wasn't going to hit my goal (37:00) because I couldn't see the finish line. We turned a tight corner into the St. Paul's parking lot. At last, the end was in sight. I crossed the finish at 38:01 (3rd in Age Group). I saw a friend who told me her twelve year old son finished in 35 minutes. This made me proud (not annoyed) because I know the kid, he's sweet, and he's a phenomenal athlete.
I made my way over to the "refreshment" table. Chocolate milk!!! Yeah!! Not chocolate milk? Chocolate flavored...coconut water...(gag). Lime flavored...coconut water...(more gagging) What the fuck? Where the hell was a Poland Spring when you needed it? Alright, damn it. I'll take the Limey crap, super sized. It tasted just as disgusting as I expected. Thank you (as in, NOT thank you).
I reunited with Freighbor and Pete who both finished like champions. This was Pete's first race since I can't remember. His time was in the 43 minute range. Pretty good, especially with no training. We all walked back to the car, eager to reward ourselves at the Garden City Starbucks (Up yours, Coconut Water!). Uh huh. We got to Starbucks, only to realize none of us had any moolah or plastic. Not even freighbor's Starbucks App could save us because her phone died upon arrival. Such is the story of our First Garden City Turkey Trot.
BUT Aimée!!! Did you get your well deserved grande decaf skinny mocha?!?! Please say yes! Not to worry. We dropped Pete off at home, I grabbed my wallet, and Freighbor and I headed to OUR Starbucks. Apparently, everyone else who ran the race wanted to come to our Starbucks, as well. Not sure for the same reason.