What does an average american think of when Scotland is mentioned? Do you think of its rich history and culture? or do you think of bagpipes, kilts and most recently, the success of professional tennis player, Andy Murray? Today, Scotland transformed to one of my favorite races. Held in Central Park for its 10th annual installment, this race featured a clockwise loop of the park, finishing at nearly the same spot as the NYC Marathon.
When I first ran the NYRR Scotland 10km in 2011, it was my first 10km race. At the time, I ran it with no prior strategy – heck, I didn’t even know that Central Park had rolling hills and the climb up Harlem hill. Luckily, after two years of constant learning & new experiences, especially with CPTC, I came into today’s race with the knowledge of what to expect and how to better pace myself.
Pre-race: This was pretty simple…
√ 13 min jogging warmup to the sound of bagpipes + Minstrel Boy
Race: The corrals filled up nicely. It was 35 degrees, so I really appreciated the body heat building up next to me. The race started at 8:01am. I knew I wanted to start off conservatively (thanks Max). Thus, a 5:52.9 first mile. The second mile featured the rolling hills on the west side of the park, 5:48.7. Then came the descent down to the base of harlem hill, 5:39.7. The 4th mile featured the small incline on the east side of the park, right before the museum mile straightaway & the 5th mile included the descent down cat hill, 5:57 & 5:44. Mile 6 looped the southern part and back up the west side, 5:51. The final 0.2 mile was the uphill towards tavern on the green. I didn’t see the finish line until I was about halfway up that incline…finishing at 36:28. Sweet! PR!
Despite the cold weather, it was an enjoyable race. I can still recall the cheering from Ken, Richie, Coach Tony, the CPTC crew and other DWRT buddies. Their support definitely helped me focus on the road ahead, especially when my sore lower back was screaming at me from the previous lifting session. On to the next one!