Not everyone is ready to run a Marathon, and although last weekend’s NYC Marathon drew more than 50,000 racers did you know that over 8,000 runners ran a 5k the day before?
If you were in town or at home during this year’s marathon thinking, “I wish I could run this race, but 26 miles is a bit too far for me,” then next year this could be the race for you! For the second year in a row, the New York Road Runners hosted the Dash to the Finish 5k which allowed local and visiting runners to take part in the experience of racing through the finish line of the NYC Marathon without actually running the full 26.2 miles. The race took place Saturday November 2nd, starting at 8:30a.m. near the U.N. and finishing with the last mile through Central Park.
Sam Grotewold, NYRR Pro Athlete Manager said that the idea of this race was originally to allow family and friends of NYC Marathoners to have something to do while they were in town for marathon weekend. Since marathoners come from around the globe to run NYC, this shorter, low-key race was intended to give the families the opportunity to participate. However, “low-key” can hardly describe the excitement and elite status of this year’s 5k, which included several Olympian and American record holders.
I was lucky enough to run the elite section of the race as my professional road race debut for Oiselle/NJNYTC, running among several big names such as Molly Huddle, Shalane Flagan, Emily Infield, and Sally Kipyego. Molly Huddle won the women’s race in 15:27 and Nick Willis won the men’s by out-kicking Sam Chelanga and Aaron Braun with a time of 13:46.
I was one of several members of the local NJNY Track Club who ran the race. My teammates Nicole Schappert and Lauren Penney finished 7th and 10th respectively and I finished 10th with a time of 16:15.
The course offered exciting views of Manhattan and Central Park, with a few slight inclines along the way. It was my first road 5k in a few years, so anyone who is looking for an easy transition into road racing should mark this on their calendar for next year. I’m telling you, no matter how tired you feel in the last 400m, you’ll get a HUGE adrenaline boost when you see the giant arched finish line and think to yourself, “I feel like I’m in the marathon!” but you actually only had to cover 3 miles to get there. Finally, it was super awesome getting to stick around on Sunday and watch a whole other host of super elite runners and their 50,000 competitors running one of the biggest marathons in the running world.
Anyone else out there run the Dash? We’d love to hear about your experience!
Amanda Winslow-Professional runner & Westfield Running Company Sales Associate