Half-baked Marathon

 

Foiled again — sort of. I was signed up to run a half marathon in Brooklyn this morning. When I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to walk the dog before driving to the city, I double checked the email from the race organizer and noticed two-thirds of the way down the page that – doh! –  the bib had to be picked up yesterday in Brooklyn! Normally they would mail it, but I signed up too close to race day.

This is doubly frustrating because, not only would this have been my first race of that length, but I also was signed up for another race last month with my wife. I wanted to squeeze in a half marathon before being a half century old (too late now – I turned 50 this week). Two days before the race I injured my foot and could barely walk, much less run. (She was great).

Although not in tip-top shape with my still-sore foot, I was really looking forward to today’s race. The alternatives were driving down to a race on the Jersey Shore tomorrow and paying yet another entry fee or just running anyway. I chose the latter.

Behold the race bib of the winning runner of the 50 and over category (and the newborn and over category) in the first Closter Half Marathon! The setting was sunny, bucolic and slightly chilly Closter, New Jersey. There were no people handing out Gatorade, but I passed by my house at the seven mile mark and had a swig of water from a bottle I left there.

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About as hilly as the Brooklyn course, and with a couple of cars and dogs (and one wild turkey!) that forced me to slow down, I still managed to beat my goal of two hours – my time was 1:55:18. My trusty Apple Watch shows that I was pretty good about pacing myself.

So I feel really dumb for not reading the fine print, but also a nice sense of accomplishment for finally running the distance. As an added bonus, I’m now the founder of the Closter Half Marathon. The run leaves from my house and you can pick up a bib – and some coffee – at the start line. The entrance fee is zero dollars, parking is free, and you can even use a real bathroom instead of a malodorous port-a-potty.

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About SJ

I know, I already write for a living.
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