This weekend I ran the Oakley NY Mini 10k in Central Park, but there was nothing “mini” about it. When this race started 43 years ago there were only 71 female participants, and it was done as a protest because at the time women were not allowed to run. Well, thanks to pioneers like Judi St. Hilaire, Kathryn Switzer, Joan Benoit and many more, women demanded the opportunity to race and show how talented they can be at this amazing sport. Just being on the starting line of this race makes me feel like a part of history and makes me realize how incredibly lucky I am to have this opportunity. The fact that there were about 8000 female finishers says it all.
The last time I ran this race was 2008 when they brought the Olympic Marathon team in to celebrate. Though I had not raced in Central Park since, I was prepared for a fast, flat start and painful grind through the ups and downs of Central Park. I went out in a 5:08 mile which luckily felt fine since it was flat. Then, I settled in with some 5:20’s, but ended up getting dropped by the second pack a little and went throughout the first 5k in a 16:14. The second half of the race seemed to roll a bit more and I was slower by about a minute. I managed to pass a few runners and out kick another competitor for the 10th overall spot in a time of 33:31, roughly 5:24 pace per mile.
Though I was aiming to finish a little higher, I felt like I raced well and was a little too strong at the finish. It was an extremely hot and humid day, so I was still hurting none-the-less! It was a whirlwind trip to NYC, but one I am glad I did. I even managed to talk my best friend that I have known since 2nd grade into running with me the day before. This race will always be one of my most special memories. Full results here