It was the weekend of races... the Staten Island Half Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, and, of course, the Bedstuy 10k. With friends spread out from NYC to CHI, we decided to hit the local Brooklyn racing circuit to get a quick 10k in through Bedstuy.
The Bed-Stuy Restoration Corp. 10k Race on October 11th is a small, 300+ participant race with closed-off streets (sort-of) and a down-home feel. As we arrived at check-in on Fulton Street we were happily greeted by Jessie Zapo and some ladies of Girls Run NYC. All smiles we talked about post-race plans for food and toed-off at the starting line.
Our plan, considering my slow injury-recovering return to running at a decent pace, was to go out around 6:45-7:00min/mile for the first mile and then settle in between there as a group: Eric, Raymond, and Rahsaan. I'd been told we were going to run this for fun, as a group, since I'm not exactly the definition of "fit" at the moment. Right... It wasn't even half a mile in before Rahsaan was pushing 6:15/mile pace and gave a quick look back at me to say, "BYE FELICIA."
Rahsaan took off, eventually out of sight over the next mile, and Raymond followed suit, disappearing after mile 3. From there on out it was me, a slightly painful foot, and a scattered selection of Bud-Stuy Residents cheering us on. With only 300 or so runners, I was passed by and passed back in front of a handful of people, but for most of the race was cruising through shut-off streets with little to no noise. If there wasn't anyone behind or in front of me, the cops would let cars roll through the barriers to continue their honk-inducing Sunday morning commute to, I don't know, the bodega for an egg-and-cheese?
Anyway, as I struggled to keep a 6:45 pace, I gradually slowed mile-by-mile until I finished running at around a 7:30 pace (losing a solid 10-15 seconds per mile). Averaged out at a 7:15, I was happy, and as I met up with the guys to cheer for the Girls Run NYC squad we thought it was over. That is, until we checked the race results and noticed that Rahsaan finished 3rd in our age group. Oooooooooooohhhh, boy, you would have thought he broke the 10k World Record!
From there, celebration ensued, on-stage trophy-accepting hilarity began, and a new Bud-Stuy celebrity was born. Third Place Age Group CHAMPION, Rahsaan Rogers.
All the above to say, run local races, they're fun.