Tim Flynn

Race Report: Bay Ridge Half Marathon


In training for my upcoming marathon (Philadelphia Marathon on November 22nd), I figured it would be a good idea to try to sneak in a half marathon to gauge my fitness. After scouring the eastern seaboard for races that fit my schedule I eventually found the Bay Ridge Half Marathon in Brooklyn, New York. I had never been to New York City before and figured I could fulfill two goals of mine by running a half and visiting the Big Apple. After a calling in a few personal favors from friends, I was able to get a ride to the race, and a place to stay (still amazed this all came together as well as it did). Once that was all set up I was ready to go run, so I cut my mileage back for a few days and decided to see what my legs could muster up for a half marathon.

Pre-Race

I stayed with a friend outside of NYC, so the morning of the race we needed to get into the city. We took a train down from north of the city into Grand Central Station. The station was pretty empty on a drizzly Saturday morning, but it was still impressive to see for sure. From here we hopped on a few subway lines and walked our way over to the start. When we got there many people were milling around and packet pick-up was pretty crowded. The start was delayed slightly but that didn't bother me (made time for one last bathroom stop). After we took care of logistics, me and my running buddies wandered up to the line in our Hawaiian shirts and chanted "Let's Get Tropical!" before heading out onto the course. The weather was cool and drizzly, but was not the downpour we had been dreading. Luckily Joaquin had spared us his wrath.

Miles 0-5

As the gun went off, we quickly settled into a pack of 9 runners at the front of the race. The first few miles felt controlled but fast as we began our first leg of the out-and-back-and-out-and-back course. With fresh legs and some adrenaline I clipped off the first few miles at a pace a little faster than I was planning for, but I was feeling good so I didn't worry about it. As we came into mile 5 I was within 30 seconds of my 5 mile time from the weekend before, I wasn't sure if this was a good sign, but I continued on as best I could. Here are the splits for the first 5 miles:

Mile 1: 5:56

Mile 2: 5:57

Mile 3: 6:04

Mile 4: 6:05

Mile 5: 6:22

Split Time: 30:24 (6:05 pace)

Total Time: 30:24 (6:05 pace)

Miles 5-10

With 5 miles under my belt I began to sag from the main group and knew I wasn't going to be running with them for much longer. I had been shooting to go out in 6:15ish pace, so I was a bit ahead of schedule, but was feeling good and confident and I settled in to my own race. The miles for this next section felt pretty good as I rolled through the 10k mark around 38:20. I had settled into a pace somewhere in the 6:20s and tried to focus on my form and making sure no one was gaining on me. I knew I had a top 10 spot where I was, so I tried my best to keep moving forward and not worry about my fatigue. It was also at this time that I began to realize a PR was within reach, something I had not really planned for. My previous PR was 1:24:14 from the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in 2013, so I had been a good while since I had run this fast in a half. Below are my splits for this section:

Mile 6: 6:29

Mile 7: 6:29

Mile 8: 6:20

Mile 9: 6:26

Mile 10: 6:36

Split Time: 32:20 (6:28 pace)

Total Time: 1:02:44 (6:16 pace)

Miles 10-13.1

After my 10th mile, I was feeling a bit tired and had just hit the final turnaround. I was solidly in no man's land, and was running into a stiff wind. I could feel myself slowing a bit, but tried to throw in surges and keep my legs moving as best I could. With each mile I kept checking my watch to see if a PR was still within reach, and the farther I ran the more unsure I became. At the 10 mile mark I was feeling great, but come mile 12 I was having a tougher time. As I came through the final miles I knew the PR was still within reach so I pushed on as best I could and was able to finish in 1:23:48, a new personal record! Here are the splits for that section:

Mile 11: 6:44

Mile 12: 6:54

Mile 13: 6:56

Final .1: 0:36

Split Time: 21:10 (6:48 pace)

Total Time: 1:23:48 (6:24 pace)(PR)

Post-Race

After the race we chatted with some other runners, chatting about racing and training and all those fun things. We met some really cool people and were able to ride the subway back with one of the guys who was also from PA. Once awards rolled around my buddies and I were happy to see we had placed well, my one friend had won the race, and the other two of us had placed 8th and 9th respectively. All in all it was a successful day and a great trip. After the awards we visited a few more friends then began our trek back home. My first trip to New York was a success and I was glad to emerge with a new PR, and great experience.

Author: Tim Flynn - Type: Running - Date: 12th Oct, 2015


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