Now that it’s Monday, and we’re back at it again, back to the drudgery of another hot summer work week…How was everyone’s weekend? I hope it was good, fun, productive, and filled with lots of running goodness. I know it was for me. Although most of my time was spent in front of the computer, slaving over research journals and esoteric textbooks, preparing for a big presentation that I’m sure more people will sleep through than actually pay attention to, the highlight of the weekend was definitely the few hours on Sunday morning I spent attending a race.
Now I know what you all must be thinking. There goes Lam again, running another race when his legs haven’t yet recovered from the half marathon he ran last weekend. But then, you’d be wrong. Surprised huh? Yeah, this Sunday, for the first time in a long time, instead of running a 10K in Central Park, I actually stood on the sidelines and watched one. And you know what else…if you promised not to tell anyone…I think I kind of liked it.
The Mini 10K, which took place this past Sunday, is an annual event commemorating the first ever all-women road race held some 37 years ago. In the first version of the race organized by Fred Lebow in 1972, it was called the 6 Mile Crazylegs Mini Marathon and featured Playboy bunnies at the starting line. 78 women finished that year including the race co-founders Nina Kuscsik and Kathrine Switzer. This year 4297 women, including the eventual winner Rose Kosgei of Kenya, crossed the finish line, making it one of the popular and well-attended races on the NYRR calendar.
Since I did not possess two copies of the X chromosome, I could not run this race. So instead, I came out to watch and cheer on all the lady runners busting their butts and strutting their stuff out on the course. And wow, was I ever impressed by what I saw out there! So many dedicated women all running so fast, it was all so inspiring to see. For me it was quite a spectacle to behold, all these women racing against each other next to me. Honestly, I don’t get to experience much of that during the races that I run. Most of the time, especially in the shorter distances, I could go through the whole race without seeing any female runners racing next to me at all! Not only that, but I don’t usually get to see even the women runners who are just slightly slower than me as I’m usually recovering or grabbing my stuff just as they’re finishing. As I was spectating close to the finish line and cheering on all the women sprinting the last 100m towards the end, I couldn’t help but wonder how it much have felt to be a male runner before 1972. It must have been so competitive for the top guys, but oh so boring for those who weren’t. I feel thankful that I run at a time where there’s equality among the sexes out on the course…well, for the most part anyways.
After the race, I congratulated the Flyer ladies on their great races. I enjoyed hearing their battle stories as they're quite similar to the ones I have when I run my 10Ks. They each got a medal and a carnation from NYRR for their efforts, which I thought was cute and apt for the occasion. Someone even snapped a picture to commemorate the occasion and for once, I looked quite photogenic in a Flyer race picture…hmmm, I wonder why!
All in all, it was a fun and very enjoyable Sunday morning. Congrats and thanks to all the ladies who ran and provided me with incentive to keep pounding the pavement. Only now I’ll keep in mind to slow down every once in a while, look around and enjoy the scenery!